Jefferson wants to make historic train trestle bridge an attraction

Published: Aug. 15, 2018 at 7:37 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 16, 2018 at 8:09 AM CDT
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JEFFERSON, TX (KSLA) - There's a special place in Jefferson, Texas that currently holds a historic landmark. The Howe Truss Train Trestle Bridge is the last one of its kind. 
It was originally built in 1897 in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania and then later installed in Jefferson in 1907.

The train tracks and bridge ties directly into the history of Jefferson and how the town went from a population of 30,000 to now fewer than 2,000 people.

The bridge was built by architect, William Howe. Jefferson City explains the idea behind the bridge on their website, "It utilizes similar design such as Pratt truss, but with a strong difference. Here the diagonal structural beams slope toward the bridge center, while Pratt truss utilizes diagonal beams that slope outward from the center of the bridge. This approach makes diagonal members of Howe truss bridge in compression, while vertical web members are in tension."

The Tourism Director, Kevin Godfrey, is pushing to make this a tourist attraction to go along with their other 100 landmarks around the city. His plan is to create an entrance to the bridge, along with a walkway that would span the entire length of the bridge. This would allow tourists to walk out on the bridge and see the miraculous views. This all part of a plan to revamp the waterfront area.

Right now, Collins Academy put in a park next to the bridge where people and get up close and personal with the bridge. The first phase of the of the project was completed back in June. Longview Lights came and installed LED lights all around the bridge. A light show with a rainbow of colors is displayed from dusk until dawn. For holidays, the bridge will be lit up in red and green for Christmas and orange for Halloween. The lights debuted on the Fourth of July, where it was lit in Red, White, and Blue.

If you live in the Jefferson area, Godfrey encourages you to talk to your local alderman about your support for the project to get done.

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