Colorado River Bridge (Union Pacific Railroad)

Colorado River Bridge (Union Pacific Railroad)


The Union Pacific Railroad Bridge over the Colorado River in Austin, Texas, was constructed in 1936.

The first railroad bridge at the site was built by the International-Great Northern Railroad (IG&N), which stretched between Hearne and Longview. 1 The IG&N was extended to Rockdale in 1874 and South Austin in December 1876. To access Austin, the IG&N erected a wrought-iron double intersection Pratt through truss in 1881. 2

Jay Gould acquired control of the IGN, and the company was leased to the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway (MK&T, Katy) on June 1, 1881. 1 The lease was canceled on March 2, 1888, and the line remained the IG&N until May 1, 1901, when it became a part of the Calvert, Waco & Brazos Valley Railroad (CW&B).

The Colorado River crossing was partially replaced in 1904 when the truss superstructure was replaced with plate girders. 2

The CW&B went into receivership in 1908 and was acquired by the newly formed International & Great Northern Railway Company (I&GN) in 1911, which became the International-Great Northern Railroad Company (IGN) in 1922. 1 The IGN became a part of the Missouri Pacific Railroad in January 1925, which itself merged into the Union Pacific Railroad in 1981.



  • State: Texas
  • Route:
  • Type: Plate Girder
  • Status: Active - Railroad
  • Total Length: 1,333 feet
  • Main Span Length: 101.4 feet
  • Spans:
    • 1 60-foot deck plate girder span
    • 1 99.9-foot through plate girder span
    • 10 101.4-foot through plate girder spans
    • 1 99.9-foot through plate girder span
    • 1 60-foot deck plate girder
  • Truss Height:


  1. George C. Werner, “INTERNATIONAL-GREAT NORTHERN RAILROAD.” Handbook of Texas Online. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Nov. 2012. Article.
  2. Section 106: Identification of Historic Properties. Research rept. N.p.: Texas Department of Transportation, 2000. University of Texas. Web. 6 Nov. 2012. Article.

2 Replies to “Colorado River Bridge (Union Pacific Railroad)”

  1. My uncle Lewis Fussell helped build the bridge. He was from Wilson Oklahoma and worked in the oil fields. Since he was an oil driller, he told me he drilled the holes for the foundation of the bridge. I am probably the only person he ever told that to.

Leave a Reply