Monday, October 6, 2014

A Century Ago Fort Worth's Biggest Bridge Was Built Over The Trinity River In Less Than Four Years

Today I continue my quest to find an answer as to why the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's Three Bridges Over Nothing are scheduled to take four years to build.

As my quest continues today we will look at a Fort Worth bridge which opened to traffic a century ago, in 1914.

Known as the Paddock Viaduct, this bridge, to my eyes, is quite an attractive structure, particularly when seen up close.

The Paddock Viaduct was the first concrete arch bridge built in the United States using self-supporting re-inforced steel.

According to the Bridgemapper website's article about the Paddock Viaduct "The principal constraints facing Bowen (the builder) in the design of the Main Street Viaduct were related to the unstable soil conditions of the site and to the unpredictable nature of the Trinity River."

I don't know why Mr. Bowen did not use the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's bridge building methodology and build his bridge over dry land and then add the river later.

Now, how long did it take to build the Paddock Viaduct, a bridge which is clearly a more complicated feat of bridge building engineering that the Boondoggle's bridges?

Well, I could not find a precise start and finish date for the Paddock Viaduct.

The Wikipedia Paddock Viaduct article said it was built in 1913.

The Texas State Historical Association website's Paddock Viaduct article said it was built in 1914.

The Waymarking website's Paddock Viaduct article also had it built in 1914.

The aforementioned Bridemapper website's Paddock Viaduct article also had it built in 1914.

And then we have the Go Historic website's article about the Paddock Viaduct which simply says 1912 - 1914, which implies to me that construction began in 1912 and was finished two years later, which sounds reasonable.

So, once again, I ask, how can the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's Three Bridges Over Nothing take four years to build?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Hometown by Handlebar guy has further info on the Paddock Viaduct:

http://hometownbyhandlebar.com/?p=11828