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Unusual Bridge / East Fort Worth


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#1 M C Toyer

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 02:35 AM

This abandoned bridge spanned the West Fork of the Trinity on the old Handley Ederville Road just north of Randol Mill Road 1/2 mile west of Loop 820. The present river channel in that area has been moved, straightened and levees built on both sides.



The bridge appears to have been built as a triple span steel girder with concrete siderails and curbs and is typical of ca 1910-30 construction. The center span appears to have been reinforced with steel pony trusses mounted outboard on new piers. Those pony trusses are typical of bridges from the 1870s and later and I suspect were salvaged from another location rather than being original to the bridge.



Does anyone recall the bridge before the trusses were added and/or when that happened?

The bridge was superseded by the present Handley Ederville Road Bridge and Bridgewood Drive. The old Handley Ederville Road south of Randol Mill Road was displaced by the Loop 820 construction in the early 1960s, but a 1979 map shows the old bridge and old Handley Ederville Road north of Randol Mill Road for a half mile or so still in use. Present Handley Ederville Road north from the new bridge is the same as it was pre Loop 820. Does anyone recall when the new bridge was constructed and the river channelized?

Mosier Lake, which is just northeast of the new bridge and extends under Loop 820, was also the original West Fork channel. It was mined for sand and gravel before its present recreational use. Does anyone have a timeline on that?

M C Toyer

#2 djold1

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 05:05 AM

Without the trusses, which I agree must have been added later, this looks a lot like the original 10-mile Bridge northwest of FW below Eagle Mountain lake. I think the concrete rail construction in this pattern was pretty standard around here up until WWII.

From some reading that I have been doing, these bridges were fairly expensive but well thought of because they did not tend to wash away as aften as the old wooden bridges that were common before. Bridges like this also generally had a poured cement floor rather than the wood planking which were a maintenance horror on old bridges.

Next question: What bridge was the rather graceful steel truss set salvaged from?


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#3 801hme

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 07:35 AM

QUOTE (M C Toyer @ Aug 23 2008, 03:35 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This abandoned bridge spanned the West Fork of the Trinity on the old Handley Ederville Road just north of Randol Mill Road 1/2 mile west of Loop 820. The present river channel in that area has been moved, straightened and levees built on both sides.



The bridge appears to have been built as a triple span steel girder with concrete siderails and curbs and is typical of ca 1910-30 construction. The center span appears to have been reinforced with steel pony trusses mounted outboard on new piers. Those pony trusses are typical of bridges from the 1870s and later and I suspect were salvaged from another location rather than being original to the bridge.



Does anyone recall the bridge before the trusses were added and/or when that happened?

The bridge was superseded by the present Handley Ederville Road Bridge and Bridgewood Drive. The old Handley Ederville Road south of Randol Mill Road was displaced by the Loop 820 construction in the early 1960s, but a 1979 map shows the old bridge and old Handley Ederville Road north of Randol Mill Road for a half mile or so still in use. Present Handley Ederville Road north from the new bridge is the same as it was pre Loop 820. Does anyone recall when the new bridge was constructed and the river channelized?

Mosier Lake, which is just northeast of the new bridge and extends under Loop 820, was also the original West Fork channel. It was mined for sand and gravel before its present recreational use. Does anyone have a timeline on that?

M C Toyer


I was born in 1966 and grew up on the East Side, and the trusses have been on the bridge for as long as I can remember. My dad worked for Bell Helicopter, and when I was a little kid we only had one car, so my mom would drive my dad to work & then take us to school everyday. We always took Randol Mill to Precinct Line to Hwy 10 as our route to Bell, so I remember that bridge well, & the similar one (without trusses) that crosses the Trinity at Precinct Line a few miles east of there. The Precinct Line bridge is right by the Historical Marker for the old Randol Mill (you have to trespass in a field to read it) and the old road across the Trinity is still visible just a 20-30 yards to the west of the bridge.

I remember there were two Liquor stores right by the Handley-Ederville bridge on the south side (these closed years ago-not the Majestic/Holiday liquor stores present) and I think one of those buildings may still be there, or was the last time I was over there. That always made me wonder if Haltom City/Birdville was dry at one point and those were the nearest liquor stores.

As for Mosier Lake ( which I did not know was it's name ), the body of water on the east side of 820, which is pretty much undeveloped, has been there for as long as I can remember. The developed or "man-made" lake on the west side of 820 was created about the same time as The Newell-Newell business park I think, which would have been maybe late 70's, closer to early 80's. I know Riverbend athletic club had Tennis courts and a pavillion area down there. The present Handley-Ederville Bridge and the re-routing of the river didn't happen until the early to mid 90's.

#4 M C Toyer

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 11:49 AM

QUOTE (801hme @ Aug 23 2008, 08:35 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I remember there were two Liquor stores right by the Handley-Ederville bridge on the south side (these closed years ago-not the Majestic/Holiday liquor stores present) and I think one of those buildings may still be there, or was the last time I was over there. That always made me wonder if Haltom City/Birdville was dry at one point and those were the nearest liquor stores.



I can attest to the liquor stores in the bottoms along Randol Mill and that all the mid-cities were dry back then. Most of the area along both sides of the West Fork was unincorporated until the City of Fort Worth annexed all the way to the Dallas County line.

As a teen about 60-61 I worked at a Shell Station in Hurst and the mechanic there (back in the days of full-service) would take me along on his nightly beer run. The bridge that sticks in my mind was a high iron through truss with wooden decking and treads and the approaches fairly steep. He took great delight in getting enough speed it seemed like his car leapt onto the shaky roadway of the bridge. That may have been the Bedford-Arlington Road Bridge.

I suspect the liquor stores might account for some of the extensive siderail damage on the Handley Ederville Bridge but as you say it was still used as cars got wider so that would also be a factor.

I still see those single span pony truss bridges across small streams in counties north and west of Tarrant but all are being replaced with flat steel and concrete structures or in some cases just culverts. When Lake Ray Roberts was built there were dozens removed from the lake bed and most ended up in parks or on private roads and driveways.

Thanks for your input.

M C

#5 M C Toyer

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 12:02 PM

QUOTE (djold1 @ Aug 23 2008, 06:05 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Next question: What bridge was the rather graceful steel truss set salvaged from?


Pete -

There are several roads through the bottoms that have been closed as the gravel mining and landfill operations expand including a couple of main road crossings of the West Fork and several tributaries; perhaps it came from one of them.

Is anyone here familiar with the story of "screaming bridge" where several Arlington High students were killed after pranksters burned the wooden decking of a bridge south of Mosier Valley?

M C

QUOTE (djold1 @ Aug 23 2008, 06:05 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Next question: What bridge was the rather graceful steel truss set salvaged from?


Pete -

There are several roads through the bottoms that have been closed as the gravel mining and landfill operations expand including a couple of main road crossings of the West Fork and several tributaries; perhaps it came from one of them.

Is anyone here familiar with the story of "screaming bridge" where several Arlington High students were killed after pranksters burned the wooden decking of a bridge south of Mosier Valley?

M C

#6 Ghost Writer in Disguise

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 02:40 PM

Isn't this the bridge from which O.D. Stevens dumped the bodies of his co-conspirators in the T&P robbery after double crossing them?

I dimly remember an S-T article about the "screaming bridge" in which they interviewed a survivor. Seems like it happened in 1962 if I remember right.

#7 Dismuke

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 04:51 PM

QUOTE (Ghost Writer in Disguise @ Aug 23 2008, 03:40 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Isn't this the bridge from which O.D. Stevens dumped the bodies of his co-conspirators in the T&P robbery after double crossing them?


No. You are thinking of the East First Street Bridge - also known as the Albright Bridge.

The Screaming Bridge does not exist anymore - despite the various urban legends that other surviving bridges in the area are the Screaming Bridge. The Screaming Bridge, in fact, was destroyed BEFORE the tragedy happened. Some boys at Arlington High School set the wooden bridge on fire a day or two earlier. Then some other pranksters knocked down the barricades warning people that the bridge was out. The driver of another car on the road noticed that the bridge was out and tried to warn the girls in the car. But the teenage driver of the car the high school girls were in misunderstood the warnings and, in fear, sped up and went over where the bridge was at a high rate of speed.

After the tragedy, the bridge was replaced by a culvert. It is located on what is now Greenbelt Road over a creek immediately south of the railroad tracks near Trinity Blvd. I believe that there was a bridge on the other side of the railroad tracks as well and that too has been replaced by a culvert.

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#8 Birdland in Handley

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 01:48 AM

QUOTE (Dismuke @ Aug 23 2008, 05:51 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (Ghost Writer in Disguise @ Aug 23 2008, 03:40 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Isn't this the bridge from which O.D. Stevens dumped the bodies of his co-conspirators in the T&P robbery after double crossing them?


No. You are thinking of the East First Street Bridge - also known as the Albright Bridge.

The Screaming Bridge does not exist anymore - despite the various urban legends that other surviving bridges in the area are the Screaming Bridge. The Screaming Bridge, in fact, was destroyed BEFORE the tragedy happened. Some boys at Arlington High School set the wooden bridge on fire a day or two earlier. Then some other pranksters knocked down the barricades warning people that the bridge was out. The driver of another car on the road noticed that the bridge was out and tried to warn the girls in the car. But the teenage driver of the car the high school girls were in misunderstood the warnings and, in fear, sped up and went over where the bridge was at a high rate of speed.

After the tragedy, the bridge was replaced by a culvert. It is located on what is now Greenbelt Road over a creek immediately south of the railroad tracks near Trinity Blvd. I believe that there was a bridge on the other side of the railroad tracks as well and that too has been replaced by a culvert.

Some of these details and timeframe are almost exactly the same as accounts on Urban Legends and Ghost story pages, yet the whole concept of the bridge not being there at all makes a lot more sense for an account of a traffic accident. (And those pages generally site the "Screaming Bridge" in what is now River Legacy Park.) Mr. Dismuke, when and where did this tragedy actually occur? Where exactly is the "real" location? brrrr!



#9 M C Toyer

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 09:07 AM

Dismuke -

Thanks for putting those Paranormal and Urban Legend sites in proper perspecrive (bunk in my opinion and although there may be some underlying facts they are obscured by, well . . . all the crap.)

Didn't you contribute to the lengthly thread on the DHS board a few years back?

Are you of the opinion the bridge in question was totally of wood construction or might it have been one of those iron truss or girder bridges with wood decking and treads and that is what burned?

M C

#10 Dismuke

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 10:48 AM

QUOTE (Birdland in Handley @ Aug 24 2008, 02:48 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Some of these details and timeframe are almost exactly the same as accounts on Urban Legends and Ghost story pages, yet the whole concept of the bridge not being there at all makes a lot more sense for an account of a traffic accident. (And those pages generally site the "Screaming Bridge" in what is now River Legacy Park.) Mr. Dismuke, when and where did this tragedy actually occur? Where exactly is the "real" location? brrrr!



Here is a site you can go to for more information and maps. The owner is apparently someone into the paranormal stuff - but he has taken the effort to put up accurate information about what happened and maps of the actual location. See:http://www.angelfire.com/ak5/carl_paranormal/
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#11 Dismuke

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 10:59 AM

QUOTE (M C Toyer @ Aug 25 2008, 10:07 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Didn't you contribute to the lengthly thread on the DHS board a few years back?



I remember reading the thread at the time. And I actually came across the thread the other day in a google search when this thread made me curious about the old Randal Mill. I don't recall posting in the thread - but I suppose it is possible.



QUOTE
Are you of the opinion the bridge in question was totally of wood construction or might it have been one of those iron truss or girder bridges with wood decking and treads and that is what burned?


I am not sure. Certainly the iron truss bridges are more common in our area than completely wooden bridges. I have a hard time of picturing the bridge in any form of construction. I don't recall ever seeing a bridge that stops immediately on a railroad crossing.
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#12 Nitixope

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 11:55 AM

Please see the attached PDF from the Trinity River Authority's "Intra" newsletter pages 7 and 8. An excellent article with photos and writings of existing bridges/structures along the West Fork between Greenbelt and 360 obtained via kayak.

http://www.trinityra...06-Jan 2007.pdf

#13 JOHNFINLEY

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 05:45 PM

I live near this bridge. So, how do I get to it? I haven't been able to find it at all.

#14 801hme

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Posted 11 October 2008 - 02:27 PM

QUOTE (JOHNFINLEY @ Oct 10 2008, 06:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I live near this bridge. So, how do I get to it? I haven't been able to find it at all.


Take Randol Mill Rd. west from loop 820 (between Bridge/John T White and Trinity). The bridge is on the north side on Old Handley Ederville Road (my mapsco shows around the 6300 block of Randol Mill).

#15 JOHNFINLEY

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Posted 12 October 2008 - 09:31 AM

Thanks! I also found it on historicaerials.com




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