U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590

Skip to content U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway AdministrationU.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration

Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations



Research and Development (R&D) Project Sites

Project Information
Project ID:   FHWA-PROJ-08-0017
Project Name:   Development of Best Practices Guide on Security of Historic Bridges
Project Status:   Active
Start Date:  September 1, 2008
End Date:  September 30, 2013
Contact Information
Last Name:  Duwadi
First Name:  Sheila R
Telephone:  202-493-3106
E-mail:  sheila.duwadi@dot.gov
Office:   Office of Infrastructure Research and Development
Team:   Hazard Mitigation Team [HRDI-50]
Program:   National Historic Covered Bridge Preservation Program
Project detail
Roadmap/Focus area(s):   Historic Preservation
Project Description:   Historic sites of all types are frequently the targets of vandalism, arson, and other malicious acts. With many historic or nationally significant landmarks, protection can be achieved by displaying an authority presence. Historic covered bridges represent a unique challenge because they are quite numerous and commonly located in remote locations. The difficulty associated with managing these structures has been clearly shown with recent arson events that have resulted in the destruction and permanent damage of these bridges. Any available guidelines for securing bridges and other transportation structures focus on bridges that are either signature structures or are considered critical lifelines. Although providing some useful information, these guidelines do not sufficiently address the unique needs of historic covered bridge owners. This study will develop a best practices guide specifically for historic covered bridges. The developed guide will provide bridge owners with the tools to design and implement a cost-effective security system that is somewhat site dependent. Specific items that will be addressed include the use of signage, lighting, fire suppressant systems, and automated technologies, including intrusion detection systems. In addition, it is envisioned that gaps in available methods and research needs will be identified.
Goals:   The objective is to develop a best practices guide for arson prevention especially suited for historic covered bridges.
Product Type:   Draft standard, specifications, or guidelines
Research report
Test Methodology:   The approach will include both analytical and field work.
Other Information:   Funding: $150,000 (Federal Highway Administration) plus $45,000 (Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory)
Expected Benefits:   Providing assistance in preventing destruction of historic bridges is the expected benefit.
Deliverables: Name: Guidelines for Security of Historic Covered Bridges (9/2013).
Product Type(s): Research report, Techbrief, Draft standard, specifications, or guidelines
Description: The report will contain guidance on measures to secure historic bridges against arson, vandalism, etc.
FHWA Topics:   Research/Technologies--Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center (TFHRC)
TRT Terms:   Covered Bridges
Historic Preservation
FHWA Disciplines:   Structures
Subject Areas:   Bridges and other structures
Security and Emergencies


Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000
Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center | 6300 Georgetown Pike | McLean, VA | 22101

All Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) information technology systems will be unavailable, Friday, December 2, at 10:00 p.m. to Sunday, December 04, at 11:59 p.m., EDT, while work is being performed on the network. During that time, users will not be able to access any FHWA systems.

If you have any questions or problems, please contact the 5-Help Service Center @ (866) 466-5221 or 5-HelpServiceCenter@dot.gov.