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I know it sounds like the biggest con-man line of all time, but if you're ever really wanted to buy a bridge - this is your opportunity!   No joke, this isn't like those hucksters in New York City that offer to sell the Brooklyn Bridge to every sucker they see - this is 100% real.

According to KTBS, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development is now accepting bids on the 967-foot, 80-year-old bridge that allows Louisiana Hwy 1 to stretch over Caddo Lake between Mooringsport and Oil City.  But, before you start making plans to drop a toll booth on either side and charging folks to drive on "your" bridge - there are a few things you need to know.

First and foremost, you would be buying the bridge itself and not the location.  In fact, the lucky buyer will have to pay to have the Caddo Lake Bridge dismantled and removed to make way for a new span that allows the 2 lanes of Hwy 1 to continue over one of the most beautiful and ancient lakes in our state.

According to the DOTD, this historic bridge featuring "...a Warren truss configuration, polygonal top chord, and diagonal members" is listed in the state’s historic bridge inventory - but is considered a low priority for refurbishment due to it's poor condition.  Because officials have decided that it would be too costly to modernize it, it will be sold off and replaced with a new bridge slated for completion around 2023.

If you're still thinking about jumping into the whole "historic bridge ownership" game, you better have cash to back it up.  According to the official listing from the DOTD, the new owner has these stipulations to consider:

· The new owner would be charged the salvage value of the bridge which is estimated to be $104,000 (According to Title 7 Section 14(A) of the Louisiana Constitution, property or things of value of the state shall not be donated to or for any person, association, or corporation, public or private).

· The bridge has lead paint which will require abatement. The entity who acquires the bridge, or any portion thereof, will be responsible for lead paint abatement.

· The entity must accept full ownership and all financial and legal responsibilities, including, but not limited to, maintenance, liability, and permitting for the steel truss.

· The entity shall ensure that the transferred bridge, or any portion thereof, is closed to motorized vehicular traffic (e.g., cars and trucks).

· Relocation, reassembly and necessary permitting will be the responsibility of the entity taking ownership.

· The proposed use of the transferred bridge, or any portion thereof, will be subject to the approval of FHWA Louisiana Division (lead federal agency), LADOTD (lead state agency), and Louisiana State Historic Preservation Office (LASHPO).

· The entity will be required to execute a preservation agreement that will include the above stipulations.

If you're down for all of that, and you just have to have this bridge - get all your ducks in a row and submit your written proposal via e-mail to katherine.sinitiere@la.gov by March 11, 2021.

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