This ride took us almost 10 hours and 377 miles in 100-degree heat on a Saturday to get to Regency Suspension Bridge in Mills County, TX. We had attempted this ride almost 5 years ago when Margaret was just beginning to ride. On that ride, we were unable to locate the bridge and finally gave up due to the extreme heat. This time though, we found it. It wasn’t easy though, the sign that is supposed to point to the gravel road that leads to the bridge was gone, So we missed the turn a couple of times.
Arriving At The Bridge
The road leading to it is about half a mile of gravel. It’s not bad though, we just avoided the loose stuff and larger rocks and made it easier. Once you arrive it is quite a sight! This bridge is in a very remote area and is out of place in the landscape. It is absolutely beautiful to see, a remarkable work of art spanning the Colorado River. We walked the bridge first just to get the complete experience. Standing towards the middle you could feel the bridge sway as the wind blew. The railing was very low and the river was a long way down which gave a bit of vertigo feeling when you look down from the bridge. Then came time to ride it.
Riding Across Regency Bridge
Riding it was a great experience, though short. You are riding on Texas history which is exciting. We didn’t feel any sway while riding across like we did when standing on it. You could hear the clapping of the wooden planks as the wheels passed over them. We rode it twice, across and back before heading home. It may seem crazy to ride so far for a bridge but that is part of the adventure of riding. Especially historical spots and this was well worth the ride!
History Of Regency Bridge
I put together a bit of the history of the bridge from different sources because it is quite interesting. If you are ever in the North Texas area you don’t want to bypass this gem.
The Regency Bridge, locally known as the “Swinging Bridge,” is a one-lane suspension bridge over the Colorado River in Texas. It is not the oldest suspension bridge in Texas, that title goes to the Waco Suspension Bridge which was built in 1870. It is however the oldest suspension bridge in Texas that is open to automobile traffic.
The bridge has a span of 340 feet (99 m) and a wood surface. It was built in 1939, with most of the work being done by hand. An earlier bridge constructed in 1903 collapsed under the weight of a herd of cattle, and a later bridge built-in 1936 washed away in a flood. The Regency Bridge was restored in 1997, with then-Governor Bush attending the re-dedication service. This was a major event for the community of around 25 people.
Local teenagers accidentally set the wood surface on fire on December 29, 2003, burning a hole in some planks and causing $20,000 in damage. The bridge was repaired and reopened to traffic in early 2005.
In 2005, the Regency Bridge became the last suspension bridge in Texas open to automobile traffic.