Fort Worth icon still bridging history
The bridge(s) on Main Street have been making waves in Fort Worth’s history books for more than 100 years. From 1913’s Paddock Viaduct to North Main’s newest signature V-pier being constructed today, the two iconic structures are part of our city’s unique architecture.
The Paddock Viaduct
Also known as the Main Street Viaduct or simply Main Street Bridge was opened to traffic on July 3, 1914. The bridge was named in honor of Buckley Burton (B. B.) Paddock, a Fort Worth entrepreneur and former mayor. Travel over the river prior to the Paddock Viaduct had been by low-water crossings and ferries, and later by a two-lane iron suspension bridge that was built in the 1890s.
Designed by the St. Louis firm of Benneke and Fay, the Paddock Viaduct design called for 50-foot girder spans, three 62-foot 6-inch girder spans, one 150-foot arch span, two 173-foot arch spans and one 225-foot arch span. The construction firm Hannan, Hickey Brothers, also of St. Louis, won the contract with a mere bid of $373,948.65. Today, that bid amount would be equivalent to $9,405,035.18!
The bridge serves as a major connector from downtown to the northern sections of Fort Worth, particularly the industrial area soon to be revitalized into Panther Island, the northside neighborhoods and the historic stockyards. So what makes the Paddock Viaduct so special? It was the very first reinforced concrete arch in the nation to use self-supporting reinforcing steel.
The Paddock Viaduct was built in 1913 and renovated in 1965 and 1988. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on March 15, 1976. The bridge was later designated a Texas historic civil engineering landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers. It also received a Texas Historical Commission marker in 1980.
North Main’s Signature V-Pier Bridge
Since 2014, work along the Trinity River has been on-going preparing for this project milestone – three signature bridges, including the structure on North Main Street. This bridge will be located just north of the Paddock Viaduct and will serve as a connector from Panther Island to the northside over the future Bypass Channel.
Construction on the North Main Street bridge began late 2017 and is expected to be complete in 2020. The Panther Island project will enhance the area with its unique V-pier bridges, 10-foot pedestrian-lit sidewalks, bicycle facilities, reduced vehicular traffic delays, enhanced landscaping and opportunities for future transportation. Are you ready for the future of Fort Worth?
Click here to learn more about Panther Island’s three signature V-pier bridges.