This bridge was one of the largest suspension bridge spans in the world when the original structure was completed in late 1869/early 1870. In 1913/1914, most of the original bridge structure was replaced, including the cables and stiffening trusses. As such, a 1914 construction date can easily be argued to be more appropriate for this bridge. The large brick towers appear to be the only major remnant of the original bridge and even they appear to be substantially altered from the original design. Despite this, even when considered a 1914 bridge, this structure is a rare example of its type, and an extremely beautiful suspension bridge that forms a historical centerpiece for Waco. Large pony stiffening truss with built-up beams featuring attractive v-lacing, riveted lattice railings, and towers with arched bracing make this bridge attractive.
The bridge features a warren pony truss approach span at the northern end of the bridge.
The bridge has been preserved for non-motorized use, having been closed to vehicular traffic in 1970.
The original 1870 bridge was shown in two places on an 1873 Bird's Eye View map of Waco. These images are shown on this page.
Bridge Summary From National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form
Discussion of Bridge
An early suspension bridge with two double cable
towers of pink brick (now stuccoed) with superimposed arches connecting
the two piers of each tower and crossing the road bed. Toll houses and
walls terminate both ends of the bridge. The original crenellation,
pierced openings, and fine detail has been removed or stuccoed over, but
the general lines of the structures are still architecturally
interesting. The toll houses have stepped gable roofs, parapets, and
round arched openings now closed up.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes, this bridge is listed with reference number 70000850.
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