South Mayde Creek Abandoned Bridges
the west of Houston, Texas, along Interstate 10, is the small town of Addicks. Just north
this town is the Addicks Dam and flood control reservoir built by the Texas Corps of Engineers in 1948.
State Highway 6 runs right through the middle of the reservoir, today as a
6-lane roadway. Prior to approximately 1968, it was a 2-lane route was
designated Farm to Market Road 1960. I am still doing research, but from
old maps it appears that FM 1960 was built in about 1958. It used part of
Addicks-Satsuma Road and farther north ran along a new alignment. There
are two abandoned bridges on either side of South Mayde Creek. They are
kind of difficult to spot from SH6. The abandoned bridge below may have been part of the 1958 alignment or were possibly even
built before 1948. If anyone knows if these bridge was part of FM 1960
and when it was built and/or abandoned, please
e-mail me. Please be patient as the pictures load!
Can you spot the abandoned bridge in the above photo? Look a little below center and you can make out the old guard rail. This bridge was kind of difficult to find at first because of the years of growth of trees, bushes and vines, etc. This is the bridge that is south of South Mayde Creek. Note: when it rains heavily, South Mayde Creek is likely to become a lake!
Now a little more detail is visible, but just look at how many different types of plants are visible in this photo. The Addicks Dam Reservoir also provides a habitat for many types of wildlife. About 1 1/2 miles north of here is Bear Creek Park - it has similar trees and plants and is absolutely beautiful in spring and fall.
As I walked a little farther, I finally started to see more of the bridge! I don't know who "Gator" is - maybe someone saw an alligator here? This bridge has survived much better than the north bridge (of which I hope to get photos at a later date). One thing that is interesting is that neither bridge seems to cross any water! South Mayde Creek runs in between both bridges and goes under State Highway 6. Maybe there was an earlier bridge between the two abandoned sections, that spanned the creek (I also plan a photo of the creek at a later date). There would have had to been something crossing the water.
Here is another view of the south abandoned bridge. My future plans are to have photos of South Mayde Creek, current State Highway 6 and the north abandoned bridge. About the northern of the two abandoned bridges: it is in much worse shape than the south bridge. The eastern rail is completely gone - it may have been removed when SH 6 was widened. The western rail has a large section missing between concrete posts.
These two abandoned bridges have long fascinated me; they were already abandoned when I was a youth and my parents drove past them on a drive somewhere. This probably led to my strange hobby of learning about and photographing abandoned highway and bridges. But in a way it is a kind of history of the past and reveals a little about how styles and architecture has changed.
The area near these bridges is very interesting. While it stays mostly dry, when it rains, it can become a large lake. The section of State Highway 6 between Addicks Dam and near Patterson Road is like one very long viaduct. The bridge is not all that high, but keeps traffic flowing through the area if the reservoir is filled with water. SH 6 is extremely busy and the speed limit is 60 mph on the viaduct section, so don't try to stop and look at these bridges; it was difficult getting these photos!
Links that may be of interest: Interesting article including why Addicks Dam was needed
Addicks Dam Addicks Reservoir More info about Addicks Dam/Reservoir
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