Austin bridges falling down

Published 2:37 pm Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Oakland Avenue bridges will be no more very soon, and though they do add character and have some historical significance, that does not warrant keeping three structures no longer used and in need of maintenance in the middle of a busy corridor.

Whenever structures such as the Oakland bridges are removed, there will no doubt be dissenters who want them to stay because of their past.

But today is not yesterday, let alone 50 years ago. The trains are long gone and the bridges have not been kept up. It’s sad to see things go, but in the end, this will allow for improved infrastructure. This project is largely funded by federal dollars, and no one is exactly coming forward with money to restore these bridges.

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Sacrifice paves the way for progress, and the bridges are not a tourist draw, nor do they serve any purpose other than to look at. If the city kept all crumbling structures built long ago without maintaining them, Austin would resemble a pile of concrete and bricks, filling space that could be used more effectively.

Plans are in the works to salvage some parts of the bridges for a marker, a suitable solution for nostalgic citizens remembering their existence.