South Main Street Underpass – Main

Two engineering projects from the 1930s intended to separate automobile and railroad rights-of-way and facilitate traffic on a major Southside artery. The reinforced concrete underpass was designed by engineers of the M-K-T Railroad and the City of Fort Worth; the cost of construction — approximately $125,000 — was shared by the railroad and the city. Frank Parrott was the contractor. It is a handsomely detailed structure with arcaded piers, concrete guard rail and ornamental metal light fixtures. The viaduct, built in 1936-37, passes over several sets of railroad tracks between two grain elevator complexes. Reinforced concrete piers lift the roadbed a distance of 1600 feet. The approaches are paved in brick. The $257,000 bridge was built by the Texas Highway Department (Gibb Gilchrist, engineer; Purvis & Bertrum, contractors) with funds provided by federal emergency relief appropriations administered through the U. S. Bureau of Public Works. The overpass and underpass are eligible for the National Register, along with the others in the survey area, as part of a large-scale and protracted engineering project of the pre-war period. They are included as well in a National Register Thematic District comprised of engineering and industrial resources in the Southside related to the railroads. These structures were never placed on the National Register of Historic Places but remain eligible for listing. The upper photo is of the Overpass at the 1800-1900 Blocks, South Main; the lower photo is of the South Main Underpass at Morningside Drive.

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