Rising out of the flat coastal plain along the corridor of petrochemical plants where the Neches River empties into Sabine Lake, this cantilever steel-truss highway bridge has 177 feet of vertical clearance and 600 feet of horizontal clearance. The main spans are supported on reverse-tapered, pyramidal steel-truss towers. When it opened in 1938, Rainbow Bridge was the tallest highway bridge spanning tidal waters in the nation. Built with an appropriation from the PWA, the bridge was such a compelling landmark that the neighboring Orange County settlement of Prairie View changed its name to Bridge City. Between 1988 and 1991, the Texas Department of Transportation built Veterans Memorial Bridge, a dramatically profiled, steel-cable-stayed, segmental concrete bridge alongside Rainbow Bridge. Veterans Bridge has only 143 feet of vertical clearance. Rainbow Bridge was rehabilitated between 1992 and 1996.
You are here
If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.
SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.