TexasFreeway > Other > Louisiana > Historic Information > Abandoned and Re-aligned roads > US90 > Sabine Memorial Bridge, Texas/Louisiana Border
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Historic US 90 - Sabine Memorial Bridge, Texas/Louisiana Border

Also see Historic US90 Abandoned

Photo courtesy of The Memory Bank.
This area contains one of the oldest crossings into Texas from the east. Part of the Old Spanish Trail, this was route was a vital lifeline for equipment and supplies.
One of earliest crossings was Ballew's Ferry. This ferry actually crossed the Sabine River approximately 10 miles up river from Orange near Deweyville. As traffic through the region increased and with development of a national highway system plans were drawn up for a bridge to cross the river to replace the Ballew's Ferry.
The Sabine Memorial Bridge had a swing bridge design with a center pivot. The two main spans of the bridge were permanently mounted to a center drive mechanism. To "open" the bridge for boat traffic the bridge would "swing" and turn on a central column. The photos below are of a smaller swing bridge on TX87 in Bridge City just west of Orange.


"'Ma' Ferguson, governor of Texas, was on hand for the November 11, 1927, dedication of the new swing span bridge across the Sabine. Its opening broke the last traffic bottleneck on the Old Spanish Trail, officially known as Highway 90, and eliminated a typical hour-long wait to cross the river between Texas and Louisiana. With the completion of Highway 90 between Orange and Lake Charles, the west was at last easily accessible from the east, and vice versa". Williams, p.41.

With the opening in the early 1950's of the IH10 river bridge a mile up river, and due to some questionable politics the Sabine River Bridge was removed in the early 1960's. Very little physical evidence remains..
Topographical map and satellite image (1989).
(image reproduced from MapPoint® )
Standing on the west side of the river we can see were the bridge crossed. The bridge actually landed on the west side just to my right, but a docked ship prevented me from getting a direct shot. Just to the left of the steel shaft is the east landing.
Looking from the boat at the mouth of the channel which lead to the east landing. The old bridge crossed over this point and landed in from of us. The end of the old road can be seen in this view. The water was to shallow to get any closer.
This view is from the end of the old road looking back to the west. Just beyond the ship is were the west end of the bridge landed.
A look down to water's edge from the same location. I stepped back a few yards so that the edge of the road could be seen.

Looking from the south at the end of the road.
Part of the original bulkhead can still be seen.
The find of the day was the pedestal for the original dedication plaque. The original plaque is missing, but the engraving which remains says "DONATED BY MRS. PETER YOUREE, JUNE-3-1927". I have contacted the local historian to try to find out what was on the original plaque.
A closer look.
A wider view. Yes...those are cow pies at the bottom of the pedestal

Historic Photos
The following photos are courtesy of Dr. Howards Williams, the Orange County Historian. The photos are from his website at http://www.hcwilliams.com and from his book Picturing Orange. Used by permission.
Picturing Orange, A Pictorial History of Orange County
Edited by Dr. Howard C. Williams,  ©2000
Heritage House of Orange County Association Inc.
"Sabine River Bridge, at the base of Green Avenue, was erected in the early 1920s.  Prior to this, you had to cross the river on the ferry to go to Louisiana. The bridge was demolished shortly after I10 was opened."

"Consolidated Western Steel Shipyard Orange
Aerial view of CWS note destroyers on river. Sabine river bridge and night clubs in back ground."


"Bridge across Sabine River
Bridge at end of Green Avenue under construction. Note Green Avenue was a dirt road. ca 1924"

"East Orange, La
American Bridge at site CWS now a pipe mill
Sabine river bridge top rt Night clubs in La
Show Boat  Busters and DeMary's below them 

"Boy Scout Bus
On Sabine River bridge. Lutcher Stark sponsored the Scouts. ca 1930s"

Texas Hwy Information office
Green Ave and Mill St. One block from Sabine River Bridge.

Texas Hwy Information office
Green Ave and Mill St. One block from Sabine River Bridge.

Highway marker on Highway 90, the marker was located on Highway 90, just as you enter Texas. ca 1950
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