Bridge Prioritization and Preservation Along Route 66
Eligible bridges around the United States receive federal funding every year for replacement or rehabilitation. The main criterion for allocation of this funding is based on engineering aspects (e.g., life safety, condition, functionality), often leaving the historical value of the bridge at the bottom of the importance level. One of the main historical roads known in America is Route 66, also known as the “Mother Road.” This route was the road to opportunity in the 1930s. Many bridges with historical significance carry the route and represent an integral part of the history of the Mother Road. This research analyzes bridges along Route 66 and creates a prioritization list that incorporates both the historical significance and engineering characteristics of each bridge, putting both aspects at the same importance factor. Limit states including structural safety, geotechnical safety, operations, and loss of historical significance are considered for each bridge including specific failure modes within each limit state. After analyzing relevant limit states, a risk score is created and used to rank the bridges from the highest to the lowest prioritization by risk score. This list is used to target specific subtypes of bridges and show which structures need replacement or rehabilitation based on both the engineering and historical aspects of the bridge. This information can be used to support bridge management decisions as well as by advocates for historic preservation on Route 66.
Ballard, Sarah Marie, "Bridge Prioritization and Preservation Along Route 66" (2021). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI28541208.