By December 1881, citizen protests against the bridge toll had become great enough to compel Dallas County to appoint a committee to ascertain on what terms the county could purchase the bridge. The county commissioners' court found that Cockrell's company had "failed to erect a good and substantial" bridge and ordered a suit to be filed to revoke the company's charter. In May 1882 the county offered to purchase the bridge for $25,000 but the company wanted $41,600. An offer of $37,500 was made by the county in July for the bridge and all property owned by the company, and a bond issue of $38,000 for that purpose was approved in August 1882. The bridge was opened to free use later in that year.
Apparently finding this bridge to be inadequate, the commissioners' court awarded a contract for $9,875 to the Missouri Valley Bridge and Iron Works of Levenworth, Kansas, in September 1889, to erect a new bridge at the foot of Commerce Street, and also approved an additional $600 for "taking down and placing on high ground" the old bridge. Despite the terms of this first contract with Missouri Valley, the county contracted with N. O. McAdams in August 1890 to remove the old Commerce Street bridge. The county also signed a new contract with Missouri Valley to construct two bridges using the spans of the old bridge; one to be erected north of Commerce Street across the Elm Fork of the Trinity at Grauwyler, and the other to be erected south of Commerce Street at Miller's Ferry.
COMMERCE STREET VIADUCT HAER No. TX-35 Texas Historic Bridges Recording Project Spanning Trinity River at Commerce Street