Winchell Bridge is easily seen from Highway 377 as you cross the Colorado
River at Winchell.
and Brown counties,
this older structure is distinctive for its triple camelback design.
Although it was removed from service in 1987, its graceful lines are
worth a glance upriver to admire it.
1932 by the Austin Bridge Co., the bridge narrowly survived the record
high flood of 1936, which washed out the nearby railroad bridge. Designed
with three through truss camelback structures, the center truss measures
200’ in length and each end truss is 110’. Including the approaches,
the total length was originally 848.2 feet.
This bridge was condemned in 1987 and a new concrete bridge was built
next to it. Brown
Counties signed a joint maintenance resolution at that time, each
county being responsible for repairs to their half, including removal
of tall vegetation under the bridge and spot painting to protect bridge
joints and cover graffiti. To prevent access to the old structure,
about 60 feet of approach was removed from each end.
|South end of
the Colorado River through truss bridge at Winchell,
missing 60' of approach, with exposed end.
courtesy Judy McBride, January 2008
|My thanks to
Andrew Chisholm, environmental specialist with the Brownwood District
Office of the Texas Dept. of Transportation, for his assistance with
© Judy McBride
Colorado River through truss bridge with exposed end
Photo courtesy Barclay
Gibson, December 2007
Bridge over The Colorado River
Photo courtesy Judy McBride, January 2008
Subject: Winchell's Old Bridge on the Colorado
My grandmother Anna Shackelford and her husband Guy currently reside
in Winchell. There
is a long dirt road from Winchell that leads to her house by a small
canyon near the Colorado river. There is another dirt road that leads
from her house out into the woods. On several visits I walked down
this road and came upon an old bridge foundation that at one time
was a bridge for Winchell school kids, but is now just two large stone
structures on both sides of the river. There is also what appears
to be the foundation of a home or a store below the one of the stone
piers. It is a very quiet and undisturbed place. I've always wondered
about that bridge, what happened to it and if anybody has any memories
of it? - Lance Carthen, January 31, 2007
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