Something big happened in 2021 in the world of bridges. Texas’ last swing bridge said its goodbyes (construction began 2018) and was replaced by a corkscrew bridge (opened April 2021)! This transition has made it the last classic bridge to be replaced by this modern and well-loved corkscrew bridge design. What do you need to know? A little bit of everything!
What to know about this Texas bridge
Every canal needs a safe passage, and that method of passage is often a bridge. In situations where there is not enough room for large water traffic and road traffic, a swing bridge was the way to go. A staple for many years, a swing bridge that literally moves out of the way of large water traffic is now considered obsolete. Texas’ last one has now replaced its final one with a long-awaited, safer and quicker option.
The reason for replacement
There are many reasons why officials reached the decision to replace this kind of bridge with a corkscrew design, focusing on what was best for the public on the island, on the mainland, and in the water!
Safety was one of them. The water passage was narrow enough that two barges weren’t able to pass side by side without a lot of risks. Reports state that many times, one barge (if not both) would require assistance because they’d hit the pilings.
Another issue that also was front of mind was the need for better convenience in traveling to and from, albeit this small community. There was always a pause in traffic (easily 45 min) in order to accommodate the water traffic, and this meant backups on both sides.
The design of this bridge also allows for better transportation on the waterways. It allows for easier commerce and also keeps the waterway better controlled in organizing traffic as well as safety for those who use it.
Why a corkscrew bridge works better
The corkscrew bridge helps ease concerns on both sides of the bridge and from both uses. Traffic can move to and from freely, and the waterway itself is always open. Neither barges nor vehicles have to wait for the swing bridge to change position and/or move out of the way. This makes for better, safer, quicker, and easier transport.
One of the biggest advantages in the Sargent area is that emergency first responders will be able to get to the island faster and easier than before. This can offer comfort, professionalism, and access in those moments where waiting for the bridge to literally come to you takes too long.
The end of an era
While it is sad in some ways to see Texas’ last swing bridge say its goodbyes, locals agree that replacing the corkscrew bridge will bring many more positives that will help residents of the island and the mainland instantly feel more connection — which they now literally are!
With the construction done and it now open to the public to enjoy freely, it certainly opens up a lot of potential for growth. It also helps those who miss it understand just how effective this corkscrew design can be, even if it doesn’t have the same tried-and-tested charisma of the swing bridge. Check out one of the YouTube links above by various private parties, like this one.
If you have any questions about the bridge, while we weren’t involved, we do live here and happy to answer any questions. If you are interested in moving into this amazing community, Gulf Coast Star Realty would be happy to help you find your next home, or vacation spot. Contact us at (979) 244-5353 with any questions.