“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Rio Hondo in Cameron County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)

Arroyo Colorado Lift Bridge

Arroyo Colorado Lift Bridge Marker image. Click for full size.
cmh2315fl via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0), December 26, 2019
1. Arroyo Colorado Lift Bridge Marker
Inscription.  The Arroyo Colorado is the Lower Rio Grande Valley’s only natural waterway besides the Rio Grande. The 89-mile stream extends from mission in Hidalgo County to the lower Laguna Madre in Cameron County. From early colonization in the late 1700s, the Arroyo has been an impediment to travel, with only two prominent locations to cross. In 1910, the town of Rio Hondo, meaning “deep river” in Spanish, was established. Because of its location on the east bank of the Arroyo Colorado, travelers from the nearest major town of Harlingen or any other town west of the stream had difficulties traveling to Rio Hondo.

Following the construction of the San Benito Canal, land around Rio Hondo began to open for agricultural development. A narrow low water wooden bridge suspended on piles was stretched across the Arroyo in the 1920s but was frequently subjected to flooding and high tidal flows. To better serve travelers from the west, a one-vehicle ferry was put into operation until 1927 when a one-lane steel span bridge was erected. When the plan to dredge the Arroyo Colorado to create a port for Harlingen materialized, a temporary swing bridge was built.
Arroyo Colorado Lift Bridge image. Click for full size.
cmh2315fl via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0), December 26, 2019
2. Arroyo Colorado Lift Bridge
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In May 1953, the new vertical-lift bridge spanning over 380 feet in length and 25 feet in width opened. Designed by the New York engineering firm Parsons, Brinckerhoff, Hall & MacDonald, the bridge operated with two electric pulley motors on each side of the span with a lift and descent of ten to fifteen minutes. The bridge is not only a practical economic lifeline and a prime gateway to area attractions but is the only lift bridge built between 1945 and 1960 in Texas that is still in operation.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 2012

Erected 2012 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 17748.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Bridges & ViaductsWaterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1953.
Location. 26° 14.133′ N, 97° 35.025′ W. Marker is in Rio Hondo, Texas, in Cameron County. Marker is at the intersection of Colorado Avenue (County Highway 106) and North Arroyo Boulevard, on the right when traveling west on Colorado Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 121 N Arroyo Blvd, Rio Hondo TX 78583, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Iraqi D-20 152mm Howitzer (approx. 5.2 miles away); San Benito Post Office (approx. 7.6 miles away); Historic U.S. Post Office
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(approx. 7.6 miles away); First Methodist Church of San Benito (approx. 7.6 miles away); Historic Harlingen (approx. 7.7 miles away); Getsemani Presbyterian Church (approx. 7.7 miles away); Water District Building (approx. 7.9 miles away); St. Benedict’s Church (approx. 8 miles away).
Credits. This page was last revised on April 15, 2022. It was originally submitted on April 15, 2022, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 265 times since then and 115 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on April 15, 2022, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
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Mar. 25, 2023