Tag Archives: Roebling Company

Today in Texas History – January 7

Vintage Postcard, Waco Suspension Bridge, Waco, Texas ...

From the Annals of Engineering – In 1870, the Waco Suspension Bridge opened to traffic.  The WSB is a 475 foot long single-span suspension bridge over the Brazos River that looks like a smaller version of the Brooklyn Bridge.  The twin double-towers on each side of the Brazos were considered engineering marvels of the day and contain more than 3 million bricks made onsite.  At the time of construction, Waco lacked the ability to manufacture much of the material needed.  The suspension cables were made by the Roebling Company of Trenton, NJ and other materials were made in or imported via Galveston and then shipped up the Brazos to Bryan and then by oxcart to Waco.

The WSB could accommodate two stagecoaches passing each other.  But the main initial use was for cattle crossing and pedestrian traffic.  For years it was the only bridge crossing the Brazos.  As a result, the $141,000 cost to build the bridge was quickly paid back by tolls.

The WSB It was closed to vehicle traffic in 1971 and is now open only to pedestrians and bicycles. The bridge is in the National Register of Historic Places and received a state historic marker in 1976.

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