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Author Topic: Most decrepit bridges  (Read 2588 times)


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Most decrepit bridges
« on: October 05, 2019, 12:05:14 PM »

This is a topic about bridges that are barely standing.  I found one on which even pedestrians aren't allowed.  The Bluff Dale Suspension Bridge is actually a cable-stayed bridge.  Some of its history is given in the first photo.  Further information says that the bridge was closed to vehicular traffic in 1989 and since then has been unmaintained.  According to an archived document:

Built by Edwin E. Runyon and William Flinn in 1890, the bridge is one of the oldest surviving cable-stayed bridges in Texas and possibly in the United States.  The bridge is located outside the town of Bluff Dale, about halfway between Stephenville and Granbury. It is off of County Road 149 on Berry Creek Road, ¼ mile north of U.S. 377.

The arrival of railroads during the 1870s and 1880s increased the demand for bridges and roads in Texas. The Fort Worth and Rio Grande Railroad was built through the area in 1889 and the town became a livestock shipping port for local ranchers.  However, the lack of a bridge over the Paluxy River hindered the development of the community until 1890 when the Commissioners Court in Erath County contracted with the Runyon Bridge Company.  The Bluff Dale Bridge was completed by Flinn in early January of 1891. The bridge served as the principal crossing over the Paluxy River until 1934, when the bridge was moved to its current location 1.5 miles upstream.  Twenty-five-foot extensions were added to each end to accommodate the difference in the river's width at the new location.  It was closed to vehicular traffic in the early 1990s

While I was taking these photos, an older gentleman driving by told me this was one of only three remaining such bridges in the United States.  I have no idea if that's true, but it's the local lore.

Historical marker

Even pedestrians are prohibited

It looks like the extensions are supported by columns

A look at the cable-stayed structure

On the other side, standing on your head is prohibited

This is the new bridge, also a one-lane structure

A look at the structure from the other side

The sign, and a look at the middle, which appears to have had some rigging done

A closer look at the tower construction

The base is severely undermined
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