Rating:
2 votes

Wildcat Bridge Road Bridge

Photos 

Photo provided by Nels Raynor in September 2013

BH Photo #266974

Map 

Facts 

Overview
Pratt through truss bridge over Little Brazos River on Wildcat Bridge Road
Location
Robertson County, Texas
Status
Restored and reopened to traffic
History
Built 1920, restored in 2013
Builders
- BACH Steel of Holt, Michigan (Restoration)
- Davis Construction Inc. of Lansing, Michigan (Restoration)
Design
Pinned Pratt through truss
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 149.9 ft.
Total length: 321.9 ft.
Deck width: 14.8 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 20.0 ft.
Recognition
Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Approximate latitude, longitude
+30.94500, -96.73278   (decimal degrees)
30°56'42" N, 96°43'58" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
14/716593/3425710 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Calvert
Inventory numbers
TXNBI 171980AA0120002 (Texas bridge number on the National Bridge Inventory)
BH 33348 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection (as of 10/2015)
Deck condition rating: Very Good (8 out of 9)
Superstructure condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 44.9 (out of 100)
Average daily traffic (as of 2015)
70

Update Log 

  • August 17, 2017: Updated by Christopher Finigan: Added category "Pin-connected"
  • April 19, 2014: Photo imported by Patrick Feller
  • September 22, 2013: Updated by Tony Dillon: Updated status
  • April 25, 2008: Updated by Max Johnson: Updated "Status"

Sources 

Comments 

Wildcat Bridge Road Bridge
Posted November 17, 2013, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

DRIVE ACROSS ANTIQUES ON THIS ROADSHOW & VIEW FALL FOLIAGE

ALONG NEARBY ROBERTSON COUNTY LITTLE BRAZOS RIVER

Wildcat & Providence Bridge Photos & Locations Map

(e-mail chamber@hearnetexas.info for high resolution photos)

Not one, but two, riveted-steel, Pratt through-truss bridge restorations have recently been completed in Robertson County at Little Brazos River locations on Providence Road northwest of Hearne and on Wildcat Bridge Road west of Calvert. These restorations were accomplished by the Texas Department of Transportation’s (TxDOT) Historic Bridge program.

“Since state and federal laws recognize the importance of preserving significant elements of our cultural and engineering heritage, TxDOT is sometimes able to work with counties and local partners to preserve unique historic bridges,” commented TxDOT spokesman Bob Colwell. “These sturdy and still-usable metal bridges are important parts of our transportation heritage.”

Several years ago, TxDOT asked the Robertson County Commissioners Court whether they wanted these old bridges restored or replaced with much more modern concrete structures. “Restore” was the county’s response. Both bridges are on TxDOT’s list of historic bridges and are eligible for National Register of Historic Place designations.

“We’re very fortunate to have two beautifully restored bridges in our county,” says Robertson County Judge Jan Roe. “Preserving these treasures for current and future generations to see and use made far greater sense than destroying and replacing them.”

Closed to traffic just shy of a year, TxDOT contracted with DCI, a division of Davis Construction, which works with BACH Ornamental & Structural Steel out of Holt, Michigan on many historic bridge restorations. Due to rivet by rivet inspections and attention to historic detail, these bridges are likely in far better conditions now than they were when re-located to Robertson County back in the 1940s.

These 100+ year old hand-me-downs are believed to have been parts of the multi-section 1896 Bryan-Caldwell Road Brazos River Bridge that was abandoned in the late 1930s when TX21 was constructed. The largest piece of this venerable structure replaced Milam County’s fallen Faubion Bridge over Little River near Sugarloaf Mountain. TxDOT beautifully restored it as a pedestrian bridge. An old drawing shows five other approach spans to the old Brazos/Burleson County bridge. At least three of these were likely relocated to and given new lives in Robertson County.

While Providence and Wildcat can accommodate up to 24,000-pound tandem axle loads, yet another old bridge, the Hearne/Port Sullivan Bridge, still exists but is inaccessible to the public. Retired and rusting in place between Zane Wallace and Reistino Roads, its approaches have long-since washed out. With mature trees growing-up through its rotted wooden roadbed, it is an ideal candidate for future restoration, lest it be lost to the ages.

Important economic and social connectors for agricultural communities, these bridges have witnessed a transportation evolution from riding horseback, to horse-drawn carriages, to Model Ts or Model As, to modern vehicles. These nostalgic bridges will likely become central Texas motoring, cycling, photographing, and strolling favorites.

Robertson County now has one of each of TxDOT’s two historic bridge colors. The Providence Bridge is light gray while the Wildcat Bridge is dark blue, almost black. The truss sections on both bridges are 150 feet long. Providence’s total bridge length is 173 feet; Wildcat is 326 feet long.

Drive across one or both of these very stable but creaky historic treasures. A short trip west off of TX6 between Hearne and Calvert towards the Brazos River will take you and your family across both unique bridges and on a journey through the past beside rural farmlands.

From the south, take a left on Red Hill Road about two miles north of Hearne on TX6. At Providence Road, take another left. You’ll cross the Providence Bridge on your way towards FM1644. Turn right on 1644. Go through the Brazos bottom until you reach Wildcat Bridge Road. Turn left. The Wildcat Bridge is ahead past the Calvert Country Club. Once over this bridge, make a u-turn before you reach the railroad tracks. Retrace your steps until you get back to FM1644 and proceed due east into Calvert.

Explore for yourself the “Bridges of Robertson County.” To find GPS co-ordinates, online maps, and other information, search “Robertson County Texas” on bridgehunter.com.

# # # # #

Wildcat Bridge Road Bridge
Posted September 23, 2013, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Nels. Can't wait to get ahold of all the footage for the next movie. Glad these are done and you are coming to Iowa and Alabama for some Workin'Bridges expert consulting. Outstanding in kind restorations of pin connected trusses.

Wildcat Bridge Road Bridge
Posted September 22, 2013, by Karen Powers (powers [dot] k754 [at] gmail [dot] com)

It's so beautiful! You and Jim have done an impressive job.

Wildcat Bridge Road Bridge
Posted September 19, 2013, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Beautiful!... Another job well done Nels!

Wildcat Bridge Road Bridge
Posted September 19, 2013, by Nels Raynor (bachsteel [at] me [dot] com)

We are very proud of this bridge and want everyone at TXDOT to know its been our pleasure working with you again along with all the great people of Texas ...a true pleasure and thank you

Wildcat Bridge Road Bridge
Posted September 1, 2013, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Another beautiful restoration Nels!

Wildcat Bridge Road Bridge
Posted September 1, 2013, by Nels Raynor (Bachsteel [at] me [dot] com)

Restoring ...not rehab restored..... using original methods and craftsmanship

Wildcat Bridge Road Bridge
Posted February 12, 2013, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Hey Tony,

I'm with you on the dates, these are much older and part of a span that was across Hwy 21. I meet with TxDOT tomorrow and am going to look for the 3rd one that was part of the Wildcat/Providence Bridges project. TxDOT bundled these two projects together in the bidding process and both are underway. They are being shifted longitudinally, rolled onto new piers from being repaired in place. Glad that they are older, makes more sense.

Cotton area, big ante-bellum houses so the dates would have made sense for Farm to Market bridges.

Wildcat Bridge Road Bridge
Posted February 9, 2013, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

Wildcat Bridge Road Bridge
Posted August 14, 2012, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

The contract was let and DCI won it. So another bridge will get the Michigan experts. CONGRATULATIONS ARE IN ORDER. Workin' Bridges in a small way helped by getting the Piano Bridge job which got the ball rolling. Not bad for a little shop in Iowa.

Wildcat Bridge Road Bridge
Posted August 13, 2012, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

The contract was let and DCI won it. So another bridge will get the Michigan experts. CONGRATULATIONS ARE IN ORDER. Workin' Bridges in a small way helped by getting the Piano Bridge job which got the ball rolling. Not bad for a little shop in Iowa.

Wildcat Bridge Road Bridge
Posted July 30, 2012, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

This is another TxDOT Charles Qalker engineered restorations that after the last success has specified hot riviting. We will know soon who gets the bid for this job, i am of course rooting for my Favorite craftsmen.

Wildcat Bridge Road Bridge
Posted July 30, 2012, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Glad to hear about this restoration!

With the lacing and pinned connections, I would place this bridge as being older than 1920. Perhaps between 1900-1910.

Wildcat Bridge Road Bridge
Posted July 30, 2012, by Jamie Griffin (my1967firebird [at] gmail [dot] com)

This bridge is scheduled for restoration.

Wildcat Bridge Road Bridge
Posted April 4, 2008, by Ken Miller (dermoons [at] earthlink [dot] net)

A Pratt Through Truss Bridge Spans the Little Brazos River, West of the city of Calvert, Burleson County, Texas. Located on Douglas McCary Rd, or Wildcat Bridge Rd. It is open and still in use today.

www.photos-by-moon.com

Wildcat Bridge Road Bridge
Posted April 4, 2008, by Ken Miller (dermoons [at] earthlink [dot] net)

A Pratt Through Truss Bridge Spans the Little Brazos River, West of the city of Calvert, Burleson County, Texas. Located on Douglas McCary Rd, or Wildcat Bridge Rd. It is open and still in use today.

www.photos-by-moon.com