Historic Bridges in Texas

With a state as large as Texas, the transportation networks that connect our communities have played a vital role in the state's economy and settlement patterns. From the railroads to the ranch roads, the city streets to the interstates, these systems shape the Texas landscape. Natural crossings dictated where the earliest travelers established routes, and many modern roadways follow the same paths. As technology has evolved, so have the methods we use to cross streams, geological features, and even other transportation systems. Follow the story of Texas bridges in our timeline.

Historic Bridges: Identifying, Prioritizing, and Managing is the NEW guide we’ve developed for local preservationists. It provides technical information on bridges, along with recommendations for saving historic bridges in Texas.

Summer 2015 Metal Truss Bridge Open Houses

Piano Bridge in Fayette County, photo by Michael Amador for TxDOTIn Summer 2015, TxDOT, THC, and the Historic Bridge Foundation are heading to four cities that are near concentrations of the remaining metal truss bridges.

Through these four open houses, the team seeks feedback from the general public on what they know and love about these bridges and how we should manage them in the future.

Please join us and share your story! Bring your family photographs, newspaper articles or other items related to Texas' metal truss bridges to our open house. We will scan your items for archiving into the history collections of a local library and the Texas Historical Commission.

Metal Truss Bridges: Engineering Elegance

Metal truss bridges are a dwindling historic resource in Texas, although they were once common across the state. Pictured left is a bridge found near Clifton in Bosque County. Designated as a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, the 1884 structure is one of few remaining Whipple trusses in the state. Check out an interactive version of this bridge photo on our Metal Truss page.

Visit the Texas Department of Transportation's Historic Bridges page to find out more about truss bridges, including a visual glossary of all the parts of a typical truss structure.

Post-World War II Era: Innovations and Leadership

From 1945 to 1965, engineers in Texas worked with new materials and construction methods to develop innovative approaches to bridge design. Some bridges from this time period are the earliest examples of technology eventually adopted as national standards or that served as important steps toward a better understanding of steel and concrete. Learn more about Post-World War II Bridges.