Written by Shirley T
Friday, 23 October 2009 08:05
The bridge that transformed Waco from a small frontier town to a commercial center was the bridge I stood on October 10, 2009 which is located north of Waco Downtown.
The bridge was part of Chisholm Trail which served millions of cowboys and cattle crossing Brazos River in last centuries. The idea of constructing a bridge was initiated to offer an alternative and served the growing need to get across Brazos River via ferry which was then dangerous and time consuming.
Listed in the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of the Interior, Waco Suspension Bridge is the first bridge built to cross Brazos River. Its longest span is 475 feet (175 m) and is claimed to be the longest single-span suspension bridge west of the Mississippi.
Built with nearly 3 million bricks, Waco Suspension Bridge was completed in 1869 with an estimated cost of $141,000. The first toll was collected on January 1, 1870. Bridge traffic at that time were mainly wagons, pedestrians and cattle herds. In 1889, the bridge was sold to McLennan County which gave it to the city of Waco as a free bridge since then.
Today, Waco Suspension is open to pedestrian only. After serving over a century of traffic, it is now the venue for the locals to flock and watch fireworks on Independence Day every year. Community festivals and Brazos celebrations are also held here. During normal day, Waco Suspension Bridge is a tranquil place for an afternoon stroll to enjoy the bridge's panoramas of Brazos and beautifully landscaped river side paths connected by two gorgeous parks - Indian Springs Park and Martin Luther King Jr. Park.
If you have time, keep walking along Brazos River towards north-west till reaching Cameron Park - a picturesque venue to relax and awesome trails for mountain biking!
260 N University Park Drive
Waco, TX 76701
Admission is free
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