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 Texas : Architecture : Bridges : Langtry

SCENIC OVERLOOK
& Bridges over the Pecos River

Pecos River Canyon

Pecos High Bridge

US 90
18 miles East of Langtry, Texas

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18 miles east of Langtry is a thoughtful courtesy of the Texas Highway Department. At the east rim of the canyon, there are two spots for viewing the Pecos River. One is south of the highway and might not be apparent to the driver heading west.

Both are great for photos, but the South side location is actually a roadside park with picnic tables. This is the best single view of the entire region. Open 24 hours.
Bridge crossing Pecos River near Langty Texas
The Pecos River Bridge
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, June 2004
Pecos River bridge, Texas
The "new" bridge over the Pecos River
TE photo, August 2000
The Pecos Rivdr Bridge
Another view of the Pecos River Bridge
Photo courtesy Richard Berger, April 2004
Pecos River Bridge, Texas
Another view of the Pecos River Bridge
TE photo, August 2000
Pecos Valley Canyon

"Pecos Valley Canyon print ad hanging in the Salt Flat Cafe, showing the old Pecos River Bridge on US 90 northwest of Del Rio." - Barclay Gibson

Pecos High Bridge
Pecos River Viaduct
Old Pecos River High Bridge Texas
Pecos High Bridge
Postcard courtesy Linda Kirkpatrick
Pecos River Railroad bridge postcard
 
Old railroad bridge, Pecos River
The old railroad bridge over the Pecos River
Old postcard
Pecos High Bridge by Mike Cox
In 1892, about a decade after the Southern Pacific laid its tracks through West Texas, the railroad considerably shortened the route by building a huge bridge across the lower Pecos. That river -- Texas' westernmost if you don't count the Rio Grande -- winds like a rattlesnake across West Texas, emptying into Lake Amistad.

An engineering marvel, the Pecos River Viaduct (as it was formally known) spanned 2,180 feet and towered 321 feet above the river. For years, the metal structure ranked as the highest bridge in the United States and the third highest in the world. Postcards of the bridge became a favorite medium for the classic "Having a good time, wish you were here" message.

Gutsy local cowboys, confident they had a good horse and perhaps further emboldened by a little whiskey, occasionally rode across the walkway that adjoined the tracks on the bridge. There were no guardrails.

Naturally, any cowpoke who could walk his horse across a bridge taller than a 32-story building earned quite a reputation. Such a fellow would be a suitable partner for the Pecos River Queen, a gal as handy at throwing a loop as she was pretty... More
Langtry Texas Forum
  • Subject: Langtry Railroad Bridge
    In the 1950s I saw the Langtry Railroad Bridge. I think it was around 1952 or 53. We had been to the Devil's River where it joins the Rio Grand and I was returning with with some kinfolks back to Crane, Texas so I could start Football Practice early. The bridge that we went down on to about 100 foot above the Pecos River was washed out later. They built a new one around that time. The one thing I do remember is that the Army engineers raised the railroad bridge several inches around that time to keep it from being washed away while traffic was going over the bridge [It was between 200 and 300 feet to the water from the bottom of the bridge]. This was considered one of the great engineering feats of the day. - Ray Best, January 18, 2005

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