The Regency Bridge, locally known as the "Swinging Bridge," is a one-lane suspension bridge over the Colorado River in Texas. It is located at the intersection of Mills County Road 433 and San Saba County Road 137, both gravel roads, near a small community called Regency. The bridge saddles the Colorado River between Mills and San Saba counties.
Regency Suspension Bridge
Side view of Regency Bridge from 2005.
|Nearest city||Regency, Texas|
|Area||less than one acre|
|Architect||Austin Bridge Co.|
|NRHP reference #||76002052|
|Added to NRHP||December 12, 1976|
|Designated TSAL||May 28, 1981|
The main span is 343 feet long, but counting the approach spans, engineers list the bridge’s overall length at 403 feet (122.8 meters). The wooden deck of the bridge is 16 feet across. It was built in 1939, with most of the work being done by hand. An earlier bridge constructed in 1903 collapsed under the weight of a herd of cattle, and a later bridge built in 1936 washed away in a flood. The Regency Bridge was restored by James Harris in 1997, with then-Governor Bush attending the re-dedication service. This was a major event for the community of around 25 people.
Local teenagers accidentally set the wood surface on fire on December 29, 2003, burning a hole in some planks and causing $20,000 in damage. The bridge was repaired and reopened to traffic in early 2005. After closing in late 2014, the bridge is once again open to traffic.
In 2005, the Regency Bridge became the last suspension bridge in Texas open to automobile traffic.
This area's first Colorado River bridge was at Regency, on Mills-San Saba County line. Built 1903, it served ranchers and farmers for going to market, but fell in 1924, killing a boy, a horse, and some cattle. Its successor was demolished by a 1936 flood. With 90 per cent of the work done by hand labor, the Regency Suspension Bridge was erected in 1939. It became the pride of the locality, and youths gathered there in the 1940s to picnic, dance, and sing. Bypassed by paved farm roads, it now (1976) survives as one of the last suspension bridges in Texas.
In popular cultureEdit
- The bridge is included in the opening credits for Texas Country Reporter.
- In 2005, Alton and Sue Watson founded the There's Something In The Water Songwriter Festival featuring musicians and songwriters from Texas, Oklahoma, and other regions. The annual festival was held for 12 years on the third weekend in April at an old campground located on the Mills County side of the river.
- World Without Waves was filmed in the area and featured the Regency bridge in several scenes.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09.
- McLeod, Gerald E. (November 11, 2005). "Day Trips: Earlier this year the Regency Bridge north of San Saba became the last suspension bridge in Texas that cars can drive across". The Austin Chronicle. Austin, TX. Retrieved April 11, 2014.
- McLeod, Gerald E. (March 5, 2004). "Day Trips: A bridge to the past". The Austin Chronicle. Austin, TX. Retrieved April 11, 2014.
- "Current TxDOT Projects: Mills County". Archived from the original on 2014-10-23. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "Regency Suspension Bridge". Texas Historic Sites Atlas. Texas Historical Commission. Retrieved April 11, 2014.
- "About Us". Official There's Something In The Water Songwriter Festival. Retrieved April 11, 2014.
- "IMDB.COM World Without Waves". imd.com.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Regency Bridge.|
- Regency, Texas from the Handbook of Texas Online
- Regency Suspension Bridge at Structurae
- "Regency Suspension Bridge, Spanning Colorado River at County Route 126, Goldthwaite, Mills County, TX". Historic American Engineering Record. Library of Congress.
- "Regency Suspension Bridge, Mills County". Historic Bridge Foundation.
- A visit to the Regency Bridge on November 22, 2005