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Pennybacker Bridge, Austin

4.1
#18 of 27 in Sightseeing in Austin
Bridge Tourist Spot
The Percy V. Pennybacker Jr. Bridge in Austin, Texas, is a through-arch bridge across Lake Austin which connects the northern and southern sections of the Loop 360 highway, also known as the "Capital of Texas Highway." The road is widely considered one of the most scenic urban drives in Texas, in large part due to this arched weathering-steel bridge and the rolling hills that flank the road. In 2001, 48,000 vehicles crossed the bridge daily. Ten years prior to this, 22,000 vehicles had crossed the bridge daily.HistoryMore commonly known as the "360 Bridge," the contract for the bridge was let in late 1979 and major structural steelwork was finished by July 1982. The bridge was dedicated officially November 29, 1982 by Austin mayor Carole McClellan and other public officials and opened for traffic December 3, 1982.The bridge is named for Percy V. Pennybacker Jr., who designed bridges for the Texas Highway Department and was a pioneer in the technology of welded structures.Construction detailsThe steel bridge has a uniform weathered rust finish allowing the bridge to blend in with the surrounding hills and lake. The 600 short tons (544,311 kg) of steel for the bridge were produced in Japan. The bridge structures were fabricated in Ulsan, Korea by Hyundai Heavy Industries. The steel structures were shipped on the Jundale freighter to the Port of Houston and then trucked to the bridge site. The bridge was erected by Bristol Steel of Bristol, Virginia. The roadway surface is built from 3400ST of concrete. The finish was sandblasted to ensure even weathering for an amber patina. The construction was coordinated by Clearwater Constructors (Hensel Phelps) of Denver, Colorado. Ed Westall was the project coordinator, Buddy Johnson was the project supervisor and David McDonnold was the bridge designing engineer. The bridge cost US$10 million to build.
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
94 reviews
Google
5.0
  • Beautiful bridge with very scenic views ans Austin skyline in the distance. Parking is interesting in that you park in an area that says no parking. It's been said that the police were going to begin ...  more »
  • Whenever I approach this bridge, I feel happy. I know, it's rather silly, but I love this place. The views are just amazing and turning off and walking along the river is such a nice experience. Often...  more »
  • This place is close to downtown Austin and you can relax around either watching the cars passing by in the distance or just looking at the water and seeing people rowing in the water. recommended in a...  more »
Google
  • Very beautiful views from there.
  • Beautiful view
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Austin bills itself as the "Live Music Capital of the World," so it shouldn't come as a surprise that many of its hotels sell out long before the city's popular festivals. If you wish to stay near downtown's live music scene, look for package deals and book your accommodations well in advance. If downtown clubs and bars aren't your priority, consider hotels located just outside the central part of town, in comfortable areas where you won't need a car to get to most of the city's major cultural sites.
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