Pecos River High Bridge

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Pecos River High Bridge
Pecos river bridge.jpg
Pecos River High Bridge, late 1990s
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
Carries Southern Pacific Railroad
Crosses Pecos River
Locale Langtry, Texas
Design Deck truss
Material Steel
Longest span 374.5 feet (114.1 m)
No. of spans 7
Piers in water 2
Designer Modjeski and Masters
Constructed by Brown and Root, substructure; Bethlehem Steel Company, superstructure
Construction start 1943
Construction end 1944

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.


Southern Pacific Railroad train on bridge, 1951

The first Pecos River Bridge, designed by SP chief engineer Julius Kruttschnitt, was built by the Phoenix Bridge Company and completed in 1892. After strengthening and reinforcement in 1910 and again in 1929 which almost doubled its weight, it remained in place until 1949, five years after its replacement. The second Pecos River High Bridge, was completed by the Southern Pacific Railroad on December 8, 1944.[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 at the Sanderson station and Del Rio station.

See also[edit]


  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" (PDF). Historic American Engineering Record. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress. p. 7. Retrieved February 15, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Pecos River High Bridge at Wikimedia Commons