Sunday, August 14, 2011


MOORE'S CROSSING, TEXAS - Apparitions have been spotted on and around the Moore's Crossing Bridge. The bridge is located on Burleson Road running down the south side of the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA) and crosses over Richard Moya Park in eastern Travis County. The area received its current name Moore's Crossing, in the early 1900s, when John B. Moore built a store in the area. In 1884 the bridge spanned the Colorado River in Austin after being designed by the King Iron Bridge and Manufacturing Company of Cleveland, Ohio at a cost of $45,000.00. The bridge operated as a toll bridge from January 1884 until June 18, 1886 with a huge ceremony being officiated by both city and county personnel. This was held at the corner of Congress and Water Street (now Cesar Chavez Street). The celebration started with a parade down Congress Avenue and was headed by the Texas Rifles and Austin Greys. The iron bridge was called by the populace and in official county records the "Citizen Bridge". It proudly served the public until the town needed a new wider bridge.

Moore's Crossing Bridge (Old Congress Avenue Bridge)
In 1910 the iron bridge was dismantled and placed in storage for five years. In 1915 part of the original Congress Avenue Bridge was used to replace the low-water crossing on  Onion Creek until it was washed away when Austin received  18.23 inches of rain in 24 hours on September 8-10, 1921. This storm event, known as "The Great Thrall/Taylor Storm", still stands in the record books as the greatest of all continental U.S. rainstorms during 18 consecutive hours. The storm entered Mexico as a hurricane from the Gulf and then drifted northward dropping six inches on Laredo before unleashing on Central Texas. Miraculously, only six fatalities were reported in Travis County, all on Onion Creek. The last three spans of the Congress Avenue Bridge were used to rebuild the bridge over Onion Creek in 1922. Ian Morgan, Travis County Engineer reported the Bridge is 58 feet above Onion Creek and he had the support piers elevated to 10 feet in order to save the bridge from future floods.
Many paranormal investigators believe objects can store echoes of past events and play them back at random times much like a movie projector. Projecting especially tragic occurrences to the horrified eyes of witnesses. Rumors state such a tragic incident took place on this bridge. The exact time has been lost.  Research has found no evidence to back up this aspiring urban legend. However, as the story goes, a white man was hung, by a mob, from one of the cross beams because of a forbidden love affair with a black woman. Witnesses say after midnight you can see the man hanging from the crossbeam swaying in a slight breeze. Below a shadow of a female figure is seen looking up in the direction of the swinging body. Did this happen while the bridge spanned the Colorado River on Congress Avenue. If so, why isn't any record of the murder in any City of Austin police file or newspaper?

Post Card showing the Old Congress Avenue Bridge

Is the wrought iron bridge really haunted? Many witnesses over the years reported people walking across the bridge dressed in out-of-date clothing. I include myself as one of those eyewitnesses. The incident took place in the 80's when I drove my car over the bridge on my way to Austin from Bastrop County via FM 973 & Elroy Rd. Burleson Road was used by the locals as short cut to Austin instead of taking the much traveled Hwy 71. You could save a good 10 minutes by taking the one lane bridge even if you had to wait in line for your turn to cross. I was driving my car on this foggy and damp morning. My wife was sitting in the passenger seat looking out the window down to Onion Creek below. The bridge always made her nervous because of the creaking and popping of the wooden boards as you drove across the bridge.

Just as we got in the middle of the bridge my wife spotted a pedestrian standing to the right of the car holding on to one of the support wires waiting for us to cross the bridge. She was afraid I might hit him if he stepped out into our path. As we passed the man my wife made a startled sound and asked me if I saw the man standing on the side of the bridge. She said he waved at her as we past him and that he was dressed strangely. I quickly looked up into the review mirror to see what she was talking about and saw no one. I stopped the car and rolled back the car to where she had seen the man standing. He wasn't there. I did recall seeing something out of the corner of my eye as we passed.  An image of a young man standing there. My wife had a better look at him than I had. Just who was this person and how did he disappear so quickly without us seeing where he had gone?

The King Bridge Company catalog of the 1880s featured the Congress Street Bridge across the Colorado River in Austin

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