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Sunshine Road Bridge

Sunshine Road Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: August 1, 2019

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Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Sunshine Road Over Little River
Location
Rural: Bell County, Texas: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
By Builder/Contractor: Unknown
Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
161.0 Feet (49.1 Meters)
Structure Length
190.0 Feet (57.9 Meters)
Roadway Width
14.8 Feet (4.51 Meters)
Spans
1 Main Span(s)
Inventory Number
90140AA0382001

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

This bridge's future is at risk!

Bridge Status: This bridge is at severe risk for collapse due to deteriorating caissons!

Bypassed and abandoned for many years, this bridge's unusually tall substructure is failing, putting the bridge at severe risk for collapse. This bridge is a traditionally composed Pratt truss that is also noted for its beautiful riveted fishbelly floorbeams.

Texas is in an unusual position in terms of its historic bridge preservation effort. Unlike states with a horrible preservation track record like Pennsylvania or Missouri, Texas has been willing to leave bridges standing next to a replacement bridge. This is a positive thing, since even abandoning a bridge next to a replacement is better than demolishing it. Even if the bridge is no longer maintained, it might stand for many decades as-is. Over those decades, the idea should be that eventually a reuise opportunity might come alone. The bridge might be restored for pedestrian use in place, or perhaps relocated and preserved elsewhere. This is where Texas falls short however. The bridges never get preserved. Even worse because some of the bypassed bridges were agreed to be "monumented" (abandoned) as part of a Section 106 Review, this presents legal challenges if someone wants to relocate the bridge, since the Memorandum of Agreements state that the bridge must be "monumented" and does not allow for relocation at a later date. This is a serious problem. This bridge demonstrates why. The unusually tall steel caissons this bridge sits on are no longer stabloe. One of them is tipping over slowly and taking the truss bridge with it. The twisting of the truss bridge is visible even from the distance of the new bridge where the bridge can be seen. It is only a matter of time until this bridge collapses. Sadly, this has been the fate of many of the bridges that have been "monumented" in Texas. To be clear, there is nothing wrong with monumenting a truss bridge. Indeed, it would be nice if other states like Pennsylvania did it. But to ultimately be successful, there still needs to be an avenue for relocating or preserving such bridges in the decades after the initial abandonment.

 

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Photo Galleries and Videos: Sunshine Road Bridge

 

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Maps and Links: Sunshine Road Bridge

Coordinates (Latitude, Longitude):

Search For Additional Bridge Listings:

Bridgehunter.com: View listed bridges within 0.5 miles (0.8 kilometers) of this bridge.

Bridgehunter.com: View listed bridges within 10 miles (16 kilometers) of this bridge.

HistoricBridges.org Bridge Browser: View listed bridges within 0.5 miles (0.8 kilometers) of this bridge.

HistoricBridges.org Bridge Browser: View listed bridges within 10 miles (16 kilometers) of this bridge.

2021 National Bridge Inventory: View listed bridges within 0.5 miles (0.8 kilometers) of this bridge.

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