Details for Brazos River Bridge (Atlas Number 5507018073)

Historical Marker — Atlas Number 5507018073


Marker Number 18073
Atlas Number 5507018073
Marker Title Brazos River Bridge
Index Entry Brazos River Bridge
Address Hwy 6
City Benjamin
County Knox
UTM Zone 14
UTM Easting 425506
UTM Northing 3707052
Subject Codes bridges
Marker Year 2015
Designations Recorded Texas Historic Landmark
Marker Location 6 miles south of Benjamin on Hwy 6
Marker Size 27" x 42" with post
Marker Text This bridge was constructed in 1938-39 to replace a 1901 bridge and provide a crossing over the Brazos River. Located on State Highway 6 (originally State Highway 16 and later State Highway 283) south of Benjamin, the bridge links the Knox County seat to points south. A statewide historic bridge survey in the 1990s identified it as one of only five continuous through truss bridges in Texas built before World War II. The design consists of a three-span continuous truss unit measuring 382 1/2 feet flanked by two simply supported truss spans each 96 feet long. The bridge has three steel I-beam approach spans on the south side and two on the north. The truss spans rest on reinforced concrete piers and the approach spans rest on a series of precast concrete pile bents. The 1901 bridge, consisting of four 119-foot Pratt through truss spans and two pony truss spans, was reported to be in seriously deteriorated condition by 1934. During construction of the new bridge immediately upstream of the old one, a pier of the old bridge subsided, requiring closing of the bridge and construction of a detour road. Texas highway department engineers developed a special design for the replacement bridge’s truss spans, with a warren truss configuration with parallel top and bottom chords. Oran Speer of Alvord was the contractor, and the Virginia Bridge Company of Roanoke, Virginia, fabricated the steel truss spans. Construction began on May 2, 1938, the new bridge was open to traffic by January 11, 1939, and the project was officially completed on March 16, 1939, at a cost of about $138,000. In 1996, the bridge was listed in the National Register of Historic Places at the state level of significance.