Rehabilitation of the Historic Hays Street Viaduct in San Antonio, Texas

The 1881/1910 Hays Street Bridge is a viaduct consisting of two wrought iron truss spans (one Phoenix Whipple 225-ft span, and one Pratt 130-ft span), and approximately 1000-LF of concrete approaches. This span is one of only six Whipple truss bridges remaining in the state, and one of the few remaining trusses with Phoenix columns in the country. In 1910, the City of San Antonio required the Galveston, Harrisburg & San Antonio Railway Co. (eventually part of Southern Pacific) to construct a viaduct over the railroad tracks at Hays Street. The railway company relocated the two older truss spans from elsewhere on its lines. The Whipple truss span is a Phoenix patent design using the now rare Phoenix segmental wrought iron columns with cast-iron joint blocks. It dates from 1881, when it was part of a bridge over the Nueces River west of San Antonio. The Pratt span also has Phoenix-branded components, including the floor beams. Both spans were widened in 1910 from about 16-feet to the current 25-feet. In the 1990s, Douglas Steadman, P.E., formerly president of W. E. Simpson Company in San Antonio, identified the bridge as historically significant and successfully obtained Texas Civil Engineering Landmark status for the two trusses. Mr. Steadman also led the effort to obtain grant funding and private contributions to save the bridge. The bridge is currently being rehabilitated as a bicycle and pedestrian facility by the City of San Antonio, using a Transportation Enhancement grant from the Texas Department of Transportation. Sparks Engineering, Inc. is the design consultant for the project. Plans and specifications were completed in September 2006, and the project was bid in early 2009.


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Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: pp 1-8
  • Monograph Title: Structures Congress 2009: Don't Mess with Structural Engineers: Expanding Our Role

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01922420
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780784410318
  • Files: TRIS, ASCE
  • Created Date: Jun 24 2024 9:31AM