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Pennybacker Bridge, Austin
(3.8/5 based on 70 reviews on the web)
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 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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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • My husband and I love to take drives and find beautiful spots to take pictures. We visited my daughter for the weekend and decided to take a short drive around before heading back to Houston. We saw t...  more »
  • There's a popular boat launch underneath on the south bank. On the northwest side (if you can find a place to park) you can hike up to what the locals call Eagle's nest for some spectacular views. You...  more »
  • The Pennybacker Bridge is a pretty awesome sight to see, but unless you are under it in a boat or on a hike, above it in a helicopter, or above it on one of the trails, it's hard to see and appreciate...  more »