Pecos River High Bridge

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Pecos River High Bridge
Pecos river bridge.jpg
Pecos River High Bridge, late 1990s
Carries Southern Pacific Railroad
Crosses Pecos River
Locale Langtry, Texas
Designer Modjeski and Masters
Design Deck truss
Material Steel
Longest span 374.5 feet (114.1 m)
Number of spans 7
Piers in water 2
Constructed by Brown and Root, substructure; Bethlehem Steel Company, superstructure
Construction begin 1943
Construction end 1944
Coordinates 29°45′24″N 101°21′25″W / 29.75667°N 101.35694°W / 29.75667; -101.35694Coordinates: 29°45′24″N 101°21′25″W / 29.75667°N 101.35694°W / 29.75667; -101.35694
Pecos River High Bridge with Southern Pacific Railroad train, 1951

The Pecos River High Bridge carries the Southern Pacific Railroad across the Pecos River gorge and is the second high-level crossing on this site. The first, designed by SP chief engineer Julius Kruttschnitt, was built by the Phoenix Bridge Company and completed in 1892. It remained in place until 1949, five years after its replacement was completed.[1]

The current Pecos River High Bridge is a steel deck truss bridge on slip-formed concrete piers, ranging in height up to 275 feet (84 m). It was designed by Modjeski and Masters of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, with foundations constructed by Brown and Root of Houston and trusses fabricated by Bethlehem Steel Company of Chicago. Because of material rationing during World War II, War Production Board approval was required before proceeding with fabrication.[2]

In addition to Union Pacific freight trains (which merged with the Southern Pacific in 1996), this bridge carries Amtrak's Sunset Limited between its stops in Sanderson and Del Rio, Texas.


  1. ^ Baker, T. Lindsay (1986). Building the Lone Star State: An Illustrated Guide to Historic Sites. College Station: Texas A&M University Press. p. 124. 
  2. ^ Spivey, Justin M. (October 1998). "Southern Pacific Railroad, Pecos River Bridge". Historic American Engineering Record. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress. p. 7. Retrieved February 15, 2014. 

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