Waco Suspension Bridge Rehabilitation Project
The historic Waco Suspension Bridge was completed in 1870 and remains a legendary icon of downtown Waco. Many improvements were made during the recent rehabilitation project, which was completed in April 2023.
To commemorate the reopening of bridge, the City of Waco hosted a grand reopening celebration on April 22. The event featured a ribbon cutting ceremony, symbolic cattle drive across the bridge, food and family activities.
- Main decking replacement and coating of trusses and steel framing
- Drilled shaft foundations installed to bedrock and excavation for expanded footings
- New saddle bearings in towers to support new cabling
- Installation of new suspension cable and anchorage systems
- Masonry, roofing, and architectural repairs to cable houses and towers
- New hardwood decking installation along exterior walking paths
- Railing improvements
- Final site improvements
A Legendary Icon of Downtown Waco
Since its initial construction in 1870, Waco’s historic Suspension Bridge has been widely recognized as an engineering marvel of its time and a significant landmark. But notably, this bridge also represents one of the first community-driven civic improvement projects Wacoans became known for.
In the 1860s, the local residents of what was then a frontier community, put up the initial funding. They had a vision that Waco could grow itself into a thriving economic hub centered on this vital crossing, and they succeeded.
Today, our citizens share a similar vision: that Waco’s strength and vitality continue to be driven by the connectivity and unity of its communities. Over the course of the past 150 years, this landmark and its surroundings have become the cultural center of Waco’s public gatherings and recreation, hosting large tourism events and intimate gatherings equally well. It is an exceptional legacy that the initial vision and investment of our founders has lived on to become a broader symbol of how we represent our identity and culture.
Maintaining a Legacy
Each generation of Wacoans have done their part to reinvest in and preserve this iconic structure. Most notably, in 1914 the bridge was rebuilt for improved structural capacity and to take on its signature art deco stylings. The cabling and anchors dating to that era have reached the point where replacement is needed, setting the stage for a $12.4 million dollar rehabilitation effort to include the foundations, towers, decking and railings.
Our general contractor, Gibson & Associates, put together an exceptional team of professionals to methodically complete this work over the next 18-24 months. While it is a sacrifice to go without the public enjoyment of this space for the time being, we are honored to be the stewards of a renovation that will secure its place in this community for the next hundred years.
Advocacy, Partners & Support
Thanks to Our Project Partners
This project would not be possible without:
- The funding support of the Tax Increment Financing Board
- Project Engineer - Patrick Sparks of Patrick Sparks Engineering
- Agency Partners at the Texas Historical Commission
- McLennan County Historical Commission
- The City of Waco Historic Landmark Preservation Commission