8 votes

Woodson Bridge


Photo taken by Linda Thaxton in July 2011


BH Photo #205990


Woodson Bridge 2021

Jesse Sharkoman Berube


On the last day of February 1896, the court awarded a $4370.00 contract for a Truss Suspension Combination Bridge to the Flinn-Moyer Bridge Company of Weatherford, Texas. The commissioners also appointed Judge Matthews to superintend the construction of the bridge. The most striking modification made by the Austin Bridge Company in 1926 was to the tripod towers. The company's engineers encased the towers in obelisks of concrete. Two 3/4" square rods were added to convert the triangular base to a rectangle. The entire framework of pipes and square rods was hooped in wire before the concrete was poured. The Austin Bridge Company added an entirely new cable to the bridge. The company constructed new cable anchors and added a bundle ofNo. 9 gauge galvanized wires about eight inches in circumference. The original and new wire bundles were banded together between the saddles. Based on a comparison with the turnbuckles of the lower lateral bracing preserved on the approach spans, the current hangers are almost certainly replacements. The entire center-span deck was also replaced by the Austin Bridge Company. Standard 10" I-beams with 3/4" lateral cross-bracing rods support the wooden deck (Figure 6). A railing made of angles and channels, with little apparent stiffening capacity, replaced the Howe pipe truss (Figure 7). Rather, the deck was stiffened with the substitution of two 12" x 3" steel channels for the outermost wooden deck stringers. Two 18"-wide embossed steel plate runners were installed to reduce deck maintenance costs. The Austin Bridge Company also reinforced the approach spans. The pipe bents were strengthened with two 10" I-beam posts and two 8" channels placed parallel to the original deck beam pipe. There is a sign at the east end of the bridge that says the bridge is closed to all truck traffic. Foot traffic is allowable. The bridge is very overgrown with tree limbs on it.


Wire suspension bridge over Clear Fork Brazos River
Shackelford County, Texas
Closed to all traffic
Built 1896. Remodeled in 1926 by Austin Bridge Co.
- Austin Bridge Co. of Dallas, Texas/Atlanta, Georgia (Rebuild)
- Flinn-Moyer Bridge Co. of Weatherford, Texas
Catenary Wire suspension
Length of largest span: 140.0 ft.
Total length: 312.0 ft.
Deck width: 13.0 ft.
Also called
Clear Fork Brazos River Suspension Bridge CR 179
Approximate latitude, longitude
+32.92137, -99.16787   (decimal degrees)
32°55'17" N, 99°10'04" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
14/484304/3642582 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Fort Griffin
Inventory number
BH 49230 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • July 28, 2022: New video from Jesse Sharkoman Berube
  • February 7, 2022: New photos from Bambi Sharkoman
  • April 29, 2017: Updated by Dave King: Added categories "One-lane traffic", "Wooden deck"
  • April 29, 2017: New photos from Dwayne Dove
  • March 30, 2013: New photo from John Albert Fehr
  • March 8, 2013: Updated by Luke Harden: Corrected builders to the prexisting category. "deleted" the new category.
  • March 8, 2013: Updated by aaron leibold: added details of construction/remodeling
  • July 28, 2011: Added by Linda Thaxton



Clear Fork Brazos River Suspension Bridge CR 179
Posted August 7, 2011, by Jane Lenoir (jane [dot] lenoir [at] thc [dot] state [dot] tx [dot] us)

These are really nice pictures of the bridge. Around here it is known as the Woodson bridge, since at one time CR 179 was the main road from Woodson to the Albany highway (which was dirt, too). My grandfather, John W. Daws, said that in the early 1900's, he and his buddies (one of whom was William R. "Bob" Poage, later to become US Congressman Poage) used to camp out under the bridge and hunt varmints. I remember riding across that bridge with my grandfather and the rest of my brothers and sisters, always sure it was going to fall in...or more likely that my grandfather, who only had sight in one eye, would drive us off the side, since he seemed to spend most of his time looking at everything but the road, then pointing out all the interesting spots to us. Love that old bridge.