San Diego, CA
Suspension Bridge Waco Tx
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© Christine Till
The Waco Suspension Bridge is the centerpiece of downtown Waco's River Walk. The bridge crosses the Brazos River and was opened for traffic in 1869. The twin double-towers that anchor the span were considered to be a marvel of engineering at the time. Without doubt the bridge helped to transform Waco from a small frontier town to a major commercial center.
The 475-foot span made it one of the longest single-span bridges in the world at the time and was wide enough for stagecoaches to pass each other or for cattle to cross one side of the bridge and humans to cross the other side. The bridge collected its first toll Jan. 1, 1870. Tolls were a nickel (5 cents) a cattle head to cross the bridge. Along with a charge for pedestrian traffic the cost of building the bridge, which was estimated to be $141,000 was quickly paid back.
By 1971, the Waco Suspension Bridge had seen more than 100 years of traffic, and the state historical committee decided that it was time for the bridge to be retired. The was closed to vehicular traffic in 1971. Today the bridge is open to foot traffic only and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
March 24th, 2014
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