Brownsville Bridge Restoration Part of $3 Million Hike-and-Bike Trail

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BROWNSVILLE – A bridge once part of a major plantation in Brownsville will be restored and added to the city’s newest park.

Gene Fernandez of the Historic Brownsville Museum led the drive for the restoration. "This bridge is a virtual copy of one that is in the back of Norte Dame Cathedral in Paris,” he explained.

The small bridge crosses a resaca in the Southmost area of the city. For the most part, it remained out of sight. It’s now overgrown with trees and brush. There’s no water going through it now.

But at one time, the bridge was in the middle of a plantation. “The plantation was founded in 1872 by a Frenchman, Celestine J'gau,” said Fernandez. “It was a thriving plantation with sugar, bananas and all kinds of exotic fruit trees."

Fernandez said the bridge was a gift to the people downstream in Southmost. "In flood times, this was the way out of that flooded land,” he explained.

In fact, it was the only way out.

Eventually, the bridge became damaged and unstable. Now the city is making it part of a $3 million hike-and-bike trail. Fernandez said the trail will run from Palo Alto through Resaca de la Palma and end in a park.

No automotive traffic will be allowed on the bridge, and water will fill the resaca once again.

A lot of the bridge’s old brick has been recovered, as the project calls for the original brick to be used in the restoration. The completed project is expected to take about a year to finish.

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