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Historic Pecos River High Bridge (Picture A Day June 5, 2009)

The Pecos River High Bridge is one of the most famous railroad bridges in the United States, where the southern transcontinental route crosses the Pecos River in western Texas. When the rail line was first completed in 1883, the railroad crossed at the "Low Bridge", close to the confluence of the Rio Grande and Pecos via a circuitous and dangerous route. A new bridge was built in 1892 several miles to the east - a much grander, longer, taller span that passed 320 feet above the river deep in the canyon below, and the third tallest bridge in the world. To help accommodate modern freight during WWII, a new "High Bridge" was constructed alongside, although not quite as tall because of the rising waters from Lake Amistad.

 

To those who saw my photos of the Pecos River Bridge on Flickr (here) or on Livejournal, this is a different bridge. The Pecos River Bridge I photographed earlier is where the highway crosses the Pecos River - an impressive structure in its own right. The bridge above is where the railroad crosses the river, several miles to the north.

 

Photo taken in April 2009 from a roadside park along Highway 90 - the highest point along the route for many miles - where a small lookout station was built decades ago to view the bridge in the far distance (it has deeply-carved graffiti dating back to the thirties). Access to the bridge is entirely on private property, so the only way to view the bridge is from about five miles away. Photo taken with high zoom, doing my best to steady the camera in the face of (literally) fifty mile per hour gusts. A view from above in Google Maps, where you can also see the 1892 alignment.

 

You can view more photos from my 2009 'Picture a Day' set at: www.flickr.com/photos/matthigh/sets/72157625855768121/

 

And the fun continues with a Picture a Day through 2010 at: www.flickr.com/photos/matthigh/sets/72157620610035860/

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Taken on April 26, 2009