Submitted by Max Marosko:
Amazing what some people will steal. Well, not really people but scum bags!! Sometime after late last Thursday (Apr 23) evening and Saturday (Apr 25) morning, low life thieves dismantled and made off with about half the lower guard rails on the northside of the historic (and closed) CR 456 Brushy Creek Bridge. The theft was reported to the Williamson County Sheriff’s office on Sunday (Apr 26). No more of the 103 year old railing was observed to be stolen until this evening (Apr 29) when it was noted that ALL THE RAILING on the north half of the bridge has been stolen. This continued theft of the guard rail was also reported to the County sheriff this evening (Apr 29), but short of stationing an officer 24/7 at the bridge, it is unlikely the thieves will be apprehended. Not only is this a theft of County property, it is a theft of property belonging to the tax paying public of Williamson County and it is also severely defacing a rare and historic monument to an earlier time. With no guard railing on the sides of the bridge, the bridge now constitutes a real and present dangerous safety hazard … there is nothing to prevent someone from falling from the bridge onto the steep bank below or, worse yet, falling the 25 feet down into the flowing creek. And that probably puts it into the category of an attractive nuisance making the County (and indirectly the County taxpayers) liable for any harm that should happen to anyone falling from the bridge. So, be aware that if you take or know of someone who takes small children onto the bridge for whatever reason, they are in a greatly increased risk of falling off the bridge. And grown-ups are equally at risk of unintentionally falling from the bridge. If you happen to have any information regarding the theft of these historic bridge railings, please contact the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office at 512-943-1365.
[Editor’s Note: If the bridge had been repaired in a timely fashion, the thieves would not be so bold for fear of being spotted.]
Submitted by Karen Marosko:
The truly historical iron bridge crossing Brushy Creek on CR 456 has been closed due to safety concerns. The state and Williamson County are studying whether to repair and put it back in service or tear it down and replace it with a new bridge. With the long wonderful history of this good old bridge in this Coupland area, it would be a shame to not have it put back in service. The bridge was completely renovated in 2006 with additional repairs in 2008 and in 2013 a completely new bridge flooring was installed. So, there has been recent substantial investment in preserving and maintaining the bridge. We need to keep this bridge in service and not unnecessarily spend massive extra tax dollars building a new bridge.
The bridge, originally built in 1912 by the now famous Brown and Root Company, goes back many generations of friends and neighbors who have spent time standing on that bridge, as a youngster or elder, looking at Brushy Creek. Once this type of truss bridge was very common but now, according to the Texas Department of Transportation’s culture resources department, as of 2008 there were only 21 such bridges remaining in all of Texas. With very few people living on CR 456 and so very little daily traffic on the road as welI, it is hoped that by writing a letter to the Williamson County Commissioner’s Court and the Williamson County Historical Commission asking for their support, and enclosing a petition showing broad positive community interest, we can obtain their help once again to save our rare local beauty. They both were of great help in preserving the bridge back in 2006 when it was renovated and hopefully they can do so again now. The bridge “begs” to be kept in daily service.
Together we can help maintain history here in the Coupland area.