Big Brazos bridge opens in Waco
On this day in 1870, the Waco Suspension Bridge, a 475-foot structure that crosses the Brazos River in downtown Waco, was opened to traffic. At the time, it was one of the longest suspension bridges in the world. Civil engineer Thomas Griffin teamed with John A. Roebling and Son of New York to build it, at a cost estimated between $135,000 and $141,000. Initially, the Waco Bridge Company operated it as a toll bridge. The county purchased it in mid-1889 and in turn sold it to the city for $1. The bridge was closed to vehicle traffic in 1971. It is in the National Register of Historic Places and received a state historic marker in 1976.