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This Downtown Austin Bridge Could Be Named A National Landmark

An easy-to-miss bridge on W. Sixth Street could be added to the National Register of Historic Places. The West Sixth Street Bridge sits over Shoal Creek, between West Avenue and Wood Street (near Hut's Hamburgers). It was built by hand in 1887. 

"It doesn't look like much when you go over it, and people use it all the time." says Joanna Wolaver, executive director of the Shoal Creek Conservancy. "But if you take a minute to walk down the dirt path to the Shoal Creek trail, it's just gorgeous." 

Last Saturday, the Texas Historical Commission approved an application to recommend nomination of the bridge to the National Register of Historic Places. The U.S. Parks Service will have the final say and could decide by the fall. 

"The bridge is an amazing Austin treasure," says Wolaver. "Really little has been done to it, so there's a real opportunity to restore it and protect it." 

A listing on the National Register of Historic Places would provide very limited legal protections for the bridge, but the national recognition of its historic significance would help the Shoal Creek Conservancy raise money to help restore it. 

Photographer Ted Lee Eubanks has an online gallery of West Sixth Street Bridge images.

Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @KUTnathan.
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