Waco Riverwalk and Suspension Bridge

Jun 17

Waco Riverwalk and Suspension Bridge

A few months ago we decided to take a quick ride down to the park in town. The riverwalk had been flooded from rains earlier, but the suspension bridge was open and okay. It was close to sunset when we reached the bridge and walked across it, but it was a nice outing and a nice, quick break from work.

The suspension bridge used to be the only bridge crossing the Brazos River. There couldn’t be another bridge or ferry within five miles of this bridge. It was a toll bridge and had the rights secured for 25 years, which would end in 1895. But the people grew tired of the toll and wanted a free bridge to cross the river. The county eventually purchased the bridge and sold it to the city of Waco with the understanding that they would see to its repair and upkeep. Vehicles were allowed on the bridge until 1971. Now it’s a pedestrian bridge only.

 

Waco suspension bridge

Waco suspension bridge

Waco suspension bridge

Waco suspension bridge

Outside the suspension bridge are several sculptures that link back to the bridge’s past. The large, bronze statues depict a vaquero, a cowboy, a drover and several longhorn cattle. The bridge was used to drive cattle from one side of the river to the other. Waco was a central point for the Chisholm Trail leading to Kansas where the animals were eventually sold. Robert Summers from Glen Rose, Texas, is the artist.

Each animal sculpture is unique. They are also branded with the city of Waco brand or that of nearby ranches.

Longhorn statues near the bridge

Longhorn statues near the bridge

Driving the cattle

Driving the cattle

Cowboy driving cattle

Cowboy driving cattle

The suspension bridge is upriver from a railroad bridge and the I-35 bridge near McClane Stadium at Baylor University. The I-35 bridge is lit in various colors each night.

I-35 Bridge lit up

I-35 Bridge lit up

McClane Stadium downriver

McClane Stadium downriver

What do you think of the Waco suspension bridge and the statues? Let me know in the comments.

 

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