They were deemed unsafe, but a year and $2.6- million later-- two of Robertson County's oldest and most historic bridges have been restored.
“The first people that ever crossed over these bridges were on horseback and now we have modern cars,” said Texas Department of Public Transportation Public Information Officer Bob Colwell.
They were both built in 1940, but with recycled parts of a then, nearly 50 year-old bridge. A combination of wear and tear and heavier vehicles has called for a major overhaul of two of Robertson County's historic bridges.
"They had outlived their life expectancy and it was time to upgrade," said Colwell.
Upgrades that would cost $2.6-million dollars.
“TxDOT went before the Robertson county commissioners and asked if they wanted up upgrade or restore the bridges,” said Colwell.
Robertson County Judge Jan Rowe was unavailable for an on camera interview but in a release, said quote, "Preserving these treasures for current and future generations to see and use made far greater sense than destroying and replacing them."
The first bridge restoration began on Wildcat Road just west of Calvert in November 2012. From start to finish, the dark-blue, 376-foot long newly restored bridge cost two-million dollars.
A few miles down the road, just northwest of Hearne, you'll find the second project on Providence Road.
“The Providence Bridge cost $600,000 and it began in January 2013,” Colwell said.
Crews painted this 173-foot-long bridge light grey, which, according to Colwell, is one of two of TxDOT Historic Bridge colors.
"We came in and went rivet by rivet and inspected everything and replaced everything and the project has turned out wonderful,” Colwell said.
While those projects were a success, Colwell says the work and the bridge improvement projects are just beginning.
The Hearne-Port Sullivan Bridge, which is located in between Zane Wallace and Reistino Roads, is another bridge TX-Dot is looking to restore. It is currently impassable and not accessible to the public.
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