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  • Texas | Architecture | Bridges

    Cotton Belt Road Bridge
    Richland Springs, Texas
    San Saba County

    Text & Photos by Judy McBride

    Where to Stay
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    Cotton Belt Road Bridge, Richland Springs Texas
    San Saba County is graced by several uncommon, and unassuming, older bridges that have done their duty well. Several of these off-highway structures are no longer able to meet current traffic requirements, having been designed 110 - 65 years ago for a single lane of traffic, smaller, lighter vehicles and equipment, and even horse drawn wagons. Some have already been replaced by ordinary concrete structures (such as the Beveridge Bridge), and several more are due for replacement within the next five years.

    One of the remaining bridges is 5.5 miles east of
    Richland Springs and crosses Richland Creek on Cotton Belt Road (CR 236). Built in 1936, this Warren pony truss structure originally had a wood deck on its 112-foot span. The deck was replaced about ten years ago with lengths of 2 7/8" drill stem, recycled from oil drilling operations, giving the bridge its unusual appearance and extending its useful life for a few more years.

    Photographer's Note:
    This plain little bridge is like so many in Texas that just do their job, without fanfare, till they're worn out and are unceremoniously scrapped. Most can't be "saved" except in pictures, so I guess I'll use up a little more film when nostalgia strikes! - Judy McBride, November 17, 2006
    Cotton Belt Road Bridge, Richland Springs Texas
    My thanks to Charlie Cummings for showing me this, and other, bridges in the area. Tom Dahl of the TxDOT and Otis Judkins of San Saba Road Commission kindly provided information. - Judy McBride
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    , in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories, and vintage/historic photos of their town, please contact us.
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