Houston Viaduct

Transportation

The Houston Street Bridge Ain’t in Good Shape

She was built in 1911. What do you expect?

I subscribe to a newsletter called Data Is Plural because I really like the name and also because it’s interesting. DIP is just a periodic heads-up on various data sets that you can fiddle with, if you’re so inclined. Today’s installment included some interesting stuff about the Federal Highway Administration’s National Bridge Inventory, which, if you’re on deadline and really looking for a way to waste time when you absolutely should not be wasting time, is a great way to waste time.

We all know about I-345. It’s in bad shape. We’re going to tear it down. But I started poking around on the bridge reports out of Dallas County and was curious to see that the Houston Viaduct is in lousy shape. Here’s the inspection report from September 2016:

Overall condition: Poor
Superstructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Serious (3 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 24.5 (out of 100)

Recommended work: Replacement of bridge or other structure because of substandard load carrying capacity or substantial bridge roadway geometry.

You can check out some of the bridge’s history and more data on it here and here.

Newsletter

Get a weekly recap in your inbox every Sunday of our best stories from the week plus a primer for the days ahead.

Find It

Search our directories for...

Dining

Dining

Bars

Bars

Events

Events

Attractions

Attractions

View All

View All

Comments

  • Jim Schutze

    Wow, very intriguing stuff, not least because back 16-17 years ago when the city got the state to agree that the I-35 Trinity River bridge downtown absolutely was falling down and could only be replaced by Spanish architects, I caught a glimpse of a report in a guy’s office saying the only thing I-35 needed was resurfacing and maybe some bracing. When I tried to get my hands on that report, I was told by TxDOT and the feds that the bridge safety survey was top secret homeland security FBI secret and I needed to go screw myself. Now here you are with the goods. Something happened. I think it was antiMiddleWesternism.

    • I don’t know, man. I’m from California.

  • Kathy Wise

    I drive on that bridge most days. I thought I would be blown up by my gas lines first, but those are getting replaced in the next couple of weeks, I believe. So if I don’t show up for work, check with my wife. She can track me on my phone to the bottom of the Trinity.