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Texas Pecos Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program

Historic Bridges


Canadian Bridge
Canadian Bridge

SPAN ACROSS TIME

Texas bridges span rivers, creeks, and floodplains across the state. But they also represent history. Bridges reflect what materials were available during their construction and the prevailing economic conditions, the accepted engineering practices and popular architectural styles at the time, as well as the local political environment. Remarkably, you'll only have to go as far back as the early 20th century to find a time when most county roads in Texas were still dirt detours around natural barriers and "bridging" a stream or creek meant driving through it, not over it.

Road and bridge building improved after receiving a boost from Roosevelt's Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of 1935, which granted Texas almost 12 million dollars for new and improved cross-state travel. However, World War ll slowed the effort considerably and it wasn't until the 1950s when an interstate system of highways became a national priority. The bridge boom of the second half of the 20th century and its standardized use of materials and designs render many of our older bridges all the more historic for their unique characteristics. Bridges like Waco's Washington Street Bridge, a landmark truss bridge over the Brazos, the Scott Avenue Bridge over the Wichita River at Wichita Falls, and the Pecos River Bridge north of Del Rio are just a few of the many surviving examples of the state's early bridge-building legacy. Know of an old bridge in your community? It may deserve a listing on the National Register or repurposing for the hike and bike trail. The journey from abandonment to preservation has yet to be crossed for many of our neglected historic bridges.

Map of Theme

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Upcoming Events

  • May 10, 2019 - 8:00am to May 11, 2019 - 6:00pm

    White-Pool House
    112 E Murphy St
    Odessa  Texas  79761
    United States

    Join us along the Texas Pecos Trail Region as we travel along the 624 mile trail that Governor Connally started in 1968 to recognize rural Texas. We will drive the original trail just like they did in 1968.