By ALAN RAMIREZ
Special to the NEWS
Rio Hondo native Pete Castillo, founder of The Rio Hondo City Museum, has worked persistently to assure that the Arroyo Colorado Bridge acquired the recognition that it deserved. The bridge has had an everlasting impact on the lives of countless locals serving as a faster port of entry into cities like San Benito, Harlingen, Brownsville, Port Isabel, and Arroyo City.
“This bridge became crucial after Hurricane Beulah; back in 1967 when flooding was so devastating that the only crossing left in the Valley was the bridge in Rio Hondo,” Castillo recalled.
Today, the iconic yellow bridge stands at 25 feet wide and 382-feet-long, allowing a variety of vehicles ranging from cars, trucks, tractors, and eighteen-wheelers, all of which travel across daily. Nevertheless, it’s the only lift bridge built between 1945 and 1960 in Texas that’s still in operation today.
According to Castillo, this marker is significant to Rio Hondo and for all its surrounding cities. “It stands for a lot of people, every time they see the marker, they reminisce, and they can’t help but admire it,” he replied. Consequently, the marker is expected to bring many curious tourists into the city.
Visitors are encouraged to tour the Rio Hondo Museum, which opened its doors back in August 2008. It’s currently the home of various photographs containing the historic images of iconic Rio Hondo citizens. The museum holds historic images from Camp Perry to the first Bobcat Homecoming game ever mentioned in a news article.
Castillo and Sharon Newell are available for individual and group tours from Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Editor’s note: This article has been edited for length. To read the full story, click here or make sure to grab a copy of the Feb. 7-13, 2020 issue of the NEWS.