Spanning Time, and the Gabriel
Renovated Worley Bridge Rededicated in Ceremony
By Mike Brown - Rockdale Reporter
June 26, 2014
When the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) delivered a “death sentence” to the
landmark Worley Bridge just over three years ago, Milam County residents said “no way.”
Sunday’s rededication ceremony of the restored bridge was the result.
More than 150 persons gathered to watch land owner Kit Worley and Pct. 4 Commissioner
Jeff Muegge snip the ribbon that symbolized the 103-year-old, 272- foot iron truss
bridge, now open to light vehicular traffic.
Muegge said when the state condemned the bridge it gave Milam County six options, ranging
from demolition to restoration as a foot bridge.
MEETING - Worley said in a meeting of stakeholders (residents of the bridge area) and
county officials a plan was worked out to save the bridge.
County Road 428 was closed at the bridge in 2011. Two years later the structure was
lifted into a nearby field.
It was returned to its mooring this spring, County Road 428 was actually reopened about a
month ago with four families, who had been getting used to long trips to points south,
able to again use the bridge.
HELP - One of those involved, State Sen. Charles Schwertner, who spoke briefly Sunday.
Schwertner, who was a state representative in 2011, noted that upon hearing of the
bridge’s condemnation, he drove out to Apache Pass to see the structure for himself.
“It reminded me of bridges I used to see when driving out to farms and ranches,” he said.
“I knew this was something that needed to be preserved.”
The $1.2 million restoration cost was shared with the federal government contributing 80
percent, the state 10 percent and Milam County making up its 10 percent share with work
on “equivalent match” projects.
PROGRAM - Geri Burnett, vice-chair of the Milam County Historical Commission, gave the
welcome and James Brymer, pastor of the Conoley Community Church, gave the invocation.
Others on the program were VFW Post 6525, American Legion Carlyle Post 358, Dr. Lucile
Estell, Flower Gipson-Chamlee, Worley and Muegge. The bridge was built on land donated by
Frank Worley, grandfather of Kit.