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Alamo Construction Company of San Antonio

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Alamo Construction Company of San Antonio

Author: Melinda Luna PE

February 2024


A Guide to Research and Documentation of Local Texas Bridges notes the Alamo Construction Company of San Antonio as a” typical example of the early Texas bridge company”. It goes on to state the company provided metal truss bridge to Texas 1914 to 1918.  It also points out some engineers that included G.H. Bradford, H.L. Miles along with C.G. Sheeley who was president during the 1920’s. Not much can be found about the company giving an overall view of the company but reviewing newspapers and other documents some information can be found.

Certainly not comprehensive but several projects were compiled in chronological order of their awards as far as construction by Alamo Construction Company of San Antonio. 

DateName of BridgeLocationCostCost2024
1914Truss over Salado CreekBexar County$4,750$146,498
1915Borregos Creek BridgeSan Antonio, Texas  
1915Georgetown RoadTravis County$9,900$302,310
1915Bayside Bridge Aransas/RefugioAransas County$19,400$592,405
1915San Antonio Floresville Road over Calaveras CreekFloresville, Texas$10,000$305,363
1915FM 539 @ CR 337 Mueller BridgeLaVernia, Texas$8,650$264,139
1916Santa Isabel CreekWebb County$5,785$171,557
1916Big Walnut CreekWilliamson County  
1916Hutto Rd 2 bridgesWilliamson County$2,705$80,218
1916Foot bridge Lanesport & Granger RdWilliamson County$4500 $133,450
1918Broad Street Bridge over Commanche CreekMason, Texas$9,000$198,268
191937 bridges & 63 iron culvertsRunge, Texas$37,750$705,621
1919Highway 25 milesMason, Texas$51,000$953,289
1919Navarro StreetSan Antonio, Texas$3,860$72,151
19222 bridges Hondo YanceyBexar County  
1941Repair of Federal Post officeDel Rio, Texas$7,735$169,192
1942Air Corps Advance Flying School Water treatment plantSan Antonio$15,000$294,666
Broad Street Bridge, Spanning Comanche Creek at Broad Street, Mason, Mason County, TX 1

This gives us an idea of some of the type of work the Company the work the company accomplished and the general geographical area of their work which is in and around the San Antonio. Some of these bridges like the Broad Street Bridge over Comanche Creek are significant historical bridge because they represent for example the only concrete truss bridge in Texas. This concrete truss shows the ingenuity of construction in the early days where the precast truss was shipped and then construction on site. Mason, Texas at the time was difficult to ship construction material to the site. There were more mentions of the company as the bid on other projects but were not awarded the contract.

The charter of the construction company in 1914, the major shareholders were M. H. Townsend, W.J. Armstrong with minor shareholders R.C. Ross, F.A. Barber, E.P. McCaleb. The company was initially formed to construct railroads and bridges. In 1915 On the construction of the Borregas bridge across the San Antonio river, the company was fined for violation of the eight-hour day law and this case would go to a higher court. Involved in this were agents G.H. Bradford and C.O’Neil.

Bridge at McAlister Crossing, Cibolo Creek2

Sometime after C.G. or Charles Guy Sheeley was president for the company for him was done. C.G. Sheeley initially built bridges in Colorado. He had a good reputation of a builder and the State Engineer report in 1911 crediting him and his company helping save bridges in Garfield County. His father James R Sheeley was also a bridge contractor. His death announcement mentioned that he lived in San Antonio during the winter. Mr. Sheeley died because of appendicitis on November 15, 1934. At that time, he had started a new construction company, Monarch Construction. Arthur Sheeley, the only son of C.G. Sheeley eventually went on to study civil engineering.

There were other Alamo Construction Companies, for example from New York City. The Alamo Construction Company of San Antonio helped build roads and bridges in the early days of building what would be today millions in Texas civil engineering construction projects.  Two of their projects can still be seen today.

 Citations

1Historic American Engineering Record, C., Alamo Construction Company, Texas Department Of Transportation, S., Texas Historical Commission, S., Brooks, P., Brown, M. M. & Hardman, P., Elliott, J. E. B., photographer. (1968) Broad Street Bridge, Spanning Comanche Creek at Broad Street, Mason, Mason County, TX. Mason County Texas Mason, 1968. Documentation Compiled After. [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/tx0772/.

2Sutherland, Nell. “About Wilson County Historical Society.” Wilson County Historical Society, 2005, www.wilsoncountyhistory.org/talk-bridges.