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Vintage Postcard, Rainbow Bridge, Port Arthur, Texas

Vintage Postcard view of the Rainbow Bridge (formerly called the Port Arthur - Orange Bridge) completed in 1938 over the Neches River. (A new Cable-Stayed Bridge, the Veterans Memorial Bridge, completed in 1990, now runs alongside the Rainbow Bridge)


Additional Bridge Photos and a Bridge Blog at


The Rainbow Bridge is a cantilever bridge crossing the Neches River in Southeast Texas (29.9805 -93.8703) just upstream from Sabine Lake. It allows State Highway 87 and State Highway 73 to connect Port Arthur in Jefferson County on the southwest bank of the river with Bridge City in Orange County on the northeast bank. The Rainbow Bridge is the highest bridge in Texas.


Construction on the bridge began in 1936 under the guidance of the Texas State Highway Department. Due to concerns by the upstream city of Beaumont about the bridge posing a threat to ship navigation, the Rainbow Bridge was built with a 680 foot (210 m) main span. In addition, it has a vertical clearance of 177 feet (54 m), which was intended to allow the tallest ship in the US Navy, the USS Patoka, passage under the bridge (however, the Patoka never did).


The bridge was completed on September 8, 1938. The nearby town of Prairie View took on the name "Bridge City" in response. Initially named the Port Arthur-Orange Bridge, it received its current name in 1957. The bridge was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1996. (wikipedia)

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Taken on July 31, 2006