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Paddock Viaduct, 1976 HCEL
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Replacing the ferries and low-water crossings, the Paddock Viaduct connected downtown to the northern sections of the city of Fort Worth. The bridge, started in the 1890s, was designed by Benneke and Fay of St. Louis as the first reinforced concrete arch in the U.S. to use self-supporting reinforcing steel. The bridge also utilized a unique three-hinged arch design, with the highest point on the arch and two end points being hinged - a recent innovation of Swiss engineer Robert Maillart. This was an optimal design considering the soil instability and unpredictable nature of the Trinity River.


Although sometimes referred to as the Main Street Viaduct, the project was officially named in honor of B.B. Paddock, former Ft. Worth newspaper editor, mayor, and state legislator. The bridge, completed in 1914, comprises four arch spans for a total of 1,319 feet long and 54 feet wide. A 225 foot span crosses the Trinity River with 175 foot spans on either side; a fourth arch reaches across the north side into downtown.

Photo: Mark Fisher,  Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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