News

Worley Bridge will be replaced

99-year old structure coming down; long trip to town for four CR 428 families


Picturesque Worley Bridge has spanned County Road 428 for almost a century but it will give way to a new structure in 3-5 years. 
Reporter/Mike Brown Picturesque Worley Bridge has spanned County Road 428 for almost a century but it will give way to a new structure in 3-5 years. Reporter/Mike Brown After 99 years conveying Milam County residents from one side of the San Gabriel River to the other, the historic Worley Bridge is about to fade into history.

Precinct 4 Commissioner Jeff Muegge said last week he has been notified by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) the bridge will be replaced within three to five years.

County Road 428 has been closed at the bridge.

The closing came two days before the second annual Nocturnal Fest at Apache Pass which is adjacent to the bridge.

Worley Bridge was used to transport equipment from one side of the river to the other.

HISTORY—The iron truss bridge is believed to have been constructed in 1912, a period of bridge building in rural Texas.

One hundred years ago this week residents of the Sharp, Tracy and Duncan communities petititoned Milam County commissioners for an iron bridge across the San Gabriel.

Several other bridges across the San Gabriel and Little Rivers and Brushy Creek were constructed in the pre-World War I era.

“It’s going to be like losing an old friend, almost like one of the family,” land owner Kit Worley said.

The bridge is named for Worley’s family.

“You think everybody knows it’s here but we’ve still been having people come out just to look at it,” he said.

The bridge is famous for the crackles, pops and groans it makes when vehicles navigate it. Some call it the “singing bridge.”

There are places where the river is clearly visible through ancient boards.

The Worley Bridge is 272 feet long, plus 138 feet of main span and decking.

STRANDED—The move will “strand” four families who live on or near CR 428 north of the bridge.

They now have to go to Thorndale via FM 486 instead of taking a short cut across the bridge to FM 908.

The trip to Rockdale now means going through Thorndale or taking 486 to 487.

Muegge said the stretch of CR 428 north of the bridge is a postal route but is not a school bus route.


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2011-05-05 digital edition



The burn ban for Milam County has been lifted. Burning is always prohibited in the county's municipalities.


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