Drawing above is by Heather Dodd, 1996. Drawing below is by Zsolt Zsanda, 1996.


West Sixth Street Bridge

Travis County

Spanning Shoal Creek at West Sixth Street, Austin, Texas


The West Sixth Street Bridge was erected across Shoal Creek at West Pecan Street in 1887. It represents not only a valuable element in the transportation network of a modern American city, but also serves as an example of late nineteenth-century adaptation of local materials and skilled labor to the geological imperatives of the natural environment. A hand-built structure constructed in an age when rapid industrialization was offering machine-built solutions to the challenges posed by nature, this bridge replaced an earlier bowstring arch in a reversal of the usual pattern of short-span bridge replacement.

West Pecan Street was the major east-west thoroughfare in Austin in 1887, as it is now, and a masonry arch bridge was an excellent choice for this location due to the tremendous strength of stone under compressive forces.


About these drawings:

The Texas Historic Bridges Recording Project is part of the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER), a long-range program documenting historically significant engineering, industrial, and maritime sites in the United States. The HAER program is administered by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior. The Texas Historic Bridges Recording Project was co-sponsored during the summer of 1996 by HAER under the general direction of E. Blaine Cliver, chief, the Texas Department of Transportation, Environmental Affairs Division and Design Division, and the Federal Highway Administration.


© 2003 Historic Bridge Foundation. Drawings provided by Texas Department of Transportation.