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Waco Suspension Bridge

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1870, Thomas M. Griffith. Bridge St. at Brazos River
  • (Photograph by Gerald Moorhead )

The 475-foot structure crosses the Brazos River near the central business district on axis with Austin Street. In 1866, Joseph Speight created the Waco Bridge Company, which hired New York engineer Griffith to design and John A. Roebling and Son of New York (later contractors for the Brooklyn Bridge) to construct the suspension bridge. The cables drape from arcaded masonry towers and are anchored in crenellated gatehouses. The bridge greatly facilitated the river crossing of millions of long-horn cattle trailed out of southern Texas to the Kansas railheads and brought a much-needed boost to Waco's post–Civil War economy. In 1971, the city discontinued use of the bridge for vehicles and adapted it for pedestrians, connecting riverside parks on both banks of the Brazos River.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.


What's Nearby


Gerald Moorhead et al., "Waco Suspension Bridge", [Waco, Texas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Texas

Buildings of Texas: Central, South, and Gulf Coast, Gerald Moorhead and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2013, 125-125.

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