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Clifton’s Historic Whipple Truss Bridge Scheduled to be Replaced

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A report by the Waco Tribune-Herald indicates that the Whipple truss bridge across the North Bosque River at Clifton City Park will soon be something of the past. A nail-biting practice for the unfamiliar, its wood-and-asphalt decking tends to creak, while the overhead truss is rusted and rattles, making the thought of a harrowing plunge to the water 50 feet below no longer such a stretch of the imagination. But, its charm as well as its utility have been what’s endeared it to locals of Clifton, Texas, and left it remaining these 133 years.

Clifton’s Historic Whipple Truss Bridge Scheduled to be Replaced

Photo: Facebook/Historic Bridge Foundation

Built to span the North Bosque River in 1884, according to Leon Smith, local history buff, “Generation after generation of Clifton and Bosque County people have passed over this bridge and enjoyed it. In some ways, it’s a scary bridge to cross because it’s so narrow. It’s like a ride at Six Flags.” Beginning in July, work commenced for a modern concrete and steel bridge approximately 10 feet away which will eventually replace this last functioning Whipple truss bridge in Texas.

Clifton’s Historic Whipple Truss Bridge Scheduled to be Replaced

Photo: Facebook/Photographic Images of Vanishing Texas Via Jerry Pool

The project, for the most part, is being funded by federal transportation grant being administered by the Texas Department of Transportation. The bridge replacement, at a total cost of $1.45 million, won’t mean the razing of the historic bridge, however, which remains the property of Bosque County. But when the new bridge opens for business, the old one will be stripped of its decking and access point, leaving it assembled as an unapproachable monument of sorts. Those that had envisioned the old bridge as a heritage tourism draw, however, feel that the new one will detract from it. Smith explained, “This is a bridge built by our founders. I can picture them coming over, looking over the sides, and it’s kind of inspirational. To have a new bridge 10 feet from the old one is going to spoil the view.”

Clifton’s Historic Whipple Truss Bridge Scheduled to be Replaced
Photo: Facebook/Historic Bridge Foundation

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