Historic Waco Suspension Bridge rehab work begins in Texas

The rehabilitation project will impact portions of the Waco Riverwalk on both sides of the Brazos River

March 08, 2021 / 1 minute read
Waco Suspension Bridge
Image: Modjeski and Masters

Design firm Modjeski and Masters recently announced a key milestone for the rehabilitation work on the historic Waco Suspension Bridge with the City of Waco Parks Department in Texas.

As specialty engineer on the project, working under Structural Technologies, Modjeski and Masters is providing final design for the cable and hanger system, as well as the associated erection engineering. The team is working with the specialty contractor and their selected fabricator to develop the safest and most cost-effective details—including the methods for removal of existing cable and hangers, and the installation and tensioning of the new cables and hangers.

The project’s Engineer of Record is Sparks Engineering Inc., with Gibson & Associates of Dallas as the general contractor. Structural Technologies is a subcontractor for the performance of the cable-related activities.

The Modjeski team began design work on the project in Summer of 2020, with the removal of the existing elements slated to begin in early February 2021. The new material will be fabricated in early 2021, and the installation of the new cable and hangers is slated to begin around October 2021. The project in its entirety has an estimated value of $12.4 million.

Originally designed and built by John A. Roebling and Sons—which later built the Brooklyn Bridge—the Waco Suspension Bridge is an ASCE Civil Engineering Landmark and is recorded in the National Registry of Historic Places. The existing bridge was built in 1914, with the towers dating back to the original structure from 1859. It was the first bridge over the Brazos River and at the time of its official opening in 1870, the Waco Suspension Bridge was among the longest single-span suspension bridges in the world. After carrying traffic for a century, it is now a well-known walking bridge for the community.

The bridge rehabilitation project will impact portions of the Waco Riverwalk on both sides of the Brazos River, as well as traffic lanes along University Parks Drive and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

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SOURCE: Modjeski and Masters

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