The Waco Suspension Bridge collected its first toll January 1, 1870.
Constructed with cable supplied by the John Roebling Co., who built the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City, the Waco Suspension Bridge was the longest single-span suspension bridge west of the Mississippi. (For comparison, the Brooklyn Bridge was built in 1883 and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco was built in 1937. Some people theorize that Roebling looked on the Waco Suspension Bridge as a test. If the structure failed in a small cow town, it would be less devastating than it would be to fail in New York City!)
The historic suspension bridge was integral to the success of the Chisholm Trail during the era of cattle drives and continued to carry vehicles over the Brazos River for a century. In 1971 it was decided to limit the bridge to foot traffic, though it is still a Waco icon and a centerpiece for community festivals and events.