We, the undersigned persons, respectfully ask the Texas Department of Transportation to preserve the historic U.S. 83 truss bridge over the Salt Fork of the Red River.
We are aware the bridge is not safe in its present condition, and understand the need to close it at this time. However, we also are aware that TXDOT has not maintained the bridge adequately and has allowed this deterioration to take place. This in spite of its responsibility to maintain and preserve a bridge listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
While our first choice would be to have the bridge fully operational to handle vehicular traffic, we are willing to see the bridge preserved in some other form. We are aware that other bridges have been preserved around the state and nation in very creative ways, and we seek the same opportunity.
The bridge is a symbol of our county’s progress through the very trying times of the 1930s. It is a wonderful example of a Parker truss bridge that represents a distinct period of American bridge engineering. It stands at a historic location where infamous outlaws Bonnie Parker, Clyde Barrow and Buck Barrow crashed into the river and later held a farm family hostage. Most importantly for today’s citizens, it is the gateway to a beautiful roadside park that attracts not only local residents but also tourists.
The loss of this symbol and this heritage would be senseless at a time when creative solutions abound.
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