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Shoal Creek bridge to get historic plaque

Thursday, January 29, 2015 by Jo Clifton

Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo will be among those celebrating the induction of the West Sixth Street Bridge over Shoal Creek into the National Register of Historic Places at 10 a.m. Friday. The bridge, built by hand in 1887 with local limestone, is older than the Texas Capitol Building. Historically known as the Pecan Street Bridge, the structure is credited with opening up West Austin for development and expansion of the city. The Shoal Creek Conservancy submitted the bridge for induction into the national register last year. The bridge is approximately one-half mile west of the intersection of Sixth Street and Congress Avenue. According to documentation about the bridge, its wide dimension conforms to the width of the streets originally determined by Edwin Waller’s 1839 city plan, which allowed for the passage of wagons going in either direction, and also facilitated the installation of tracks for mule-drawn streetcars, which were first used in Austin in 1875. When the bridge was built, it replaced an iron bowstring arch, the site of the first bridge in Austin. In addition to remarks from Tovo, those attending will be hearing from Joanna Wolaver, executive director of the Shoal Creek Conservancy, and Jo-Dee Benson, chief culture officer for Cirrus Logic. Following the speeches, attendees will be able to take an interpretive tour over, under and around the bridge.

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