Mead & Hunt, an engineering and planning firm with offices nationwide, is working with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation on the possibility of repairing or replacing railings on historic bridges along the Route 66 corridor.
Route 66 in Oklahoma is designated a National Scenic Byway and is developing a Corridor Management Plan to help preserve its bridges. A story published a few days ago by Mead & Hunt had these details:
As a result, an ODOT commissioned study with Mead & Hunt is underway to document and inventory 32 bridges and their railings to recommend replacement railing options. The aesthetically compatible options will be consistent with the historic railings to maintain the feel and appearance throughout the corridor, while also meeting current safety requirements.
The 32 bridges documented in the study do not represent all structures along the Route 66 corridor in Oklahoma, but are a sample of structures from the 1920s through the 1950s retaining their original railings. The recommendations provide a menu of railing options for all bridge rehabilitation, replacement and construction projects along the Route 66 National Scenic Byway in Oklahoma. The recommended bridge railings in the study are only one strategy for maintaining the intrinsic qualities of the Byway to meet the goals of the CMP.
In other words, if the railing of a historic bridge cannot be repaired, they next thing to do would be to replace the railing with something similar-looking. This is consistent with what the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program and other preservationists have long advocated.
Incidentally, Mead & Hunt also is helping California develop its own Corridor Management Plan for Route 66.
(Image of the Pryor Creek Bridge along old Route 66 in Chelsea, Oklahoma, by Gouldy99 via Flickr)