The 7 Highest Bridges in Texas

Texas boasts a diverse landscape, encompassing everything from mountains and deserts to plains and coastlines. To enhance connectivity and support transportation, trade, and tourism across these varied regions, Texas has constructed numerous remarkable bridges over the years. These bridges not only serve functional purposes but also stand as architectural marvels, showcasing the state’s engineering expertise and aesthetic vision. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the seven highest bridges in Texas, ranked by their vertical clearance above water or ground level.

Rainbow Bridge

Standing at 230 feet above the Neches River in Port Arthur, the Rainbow Bridge holds the title of the highest bridge in Texas. Originally known as the Port Arthur-Orange Bridge and completed in 1938, it was renamed in 1957 to honor veterans of World War I and II. This historic landmark not only symbolizes the region’s industrial heritage but also accommodates large vessels like the USS Patoka and offshore drilling rigs from nearby shipyards.

Fred Hartman Bridge

The Fred Hartman Bridge, soaring 178 feet above the Houston Ship Channel in Baytown, claims the second spot. Opened in 1995, it replaced the Baytown Tunnel to accommodate larger ships. Named after Fred Hartman, the editor and publisher of the Baytown Sun newspaper, this cable-stayed bridge boasts two diamond-shaped towers and is the longest of its kind in Texas.

Congress Avenue Bridge

Ranked third is the Congress Avenue Bridge, with a clearance of 176 feet above the Colorado River in Austin. Originally a steel truss bridge built in 1910, it underwent reconstruction in 1980, emerging as a modern concrete arch bridge. This iconic structure is famed for its bat colony, with millions of Mexican free-tailed bats emerging nightly from beneath it, captivating visitors from March to October.

Pecos River Bridge

The Pecos River Bridge, towering 273 feet above the Pecos River in Langtry, secures the fourth position. Completed in 1957 as part of U.S. Route 90, it held the title of Texas’ highest bridge until the Rainbow Bridge surpassed it. This steel arch bridge, spanning 1,310 feet, offers a picturesque backdrop near the Judge Roy Bean Visitor Center and Museum.

Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge

At fifth place is the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, with a clearance of 400 feet above the Trinity River in Dallas. Opened in 2012, it’s the first of three planned bridges aimed at revitalizing the Trinity River Corridor. Named after philanthropist Margaret Hunt Hill, this cable-stayed bridge features a single white arch, spanning 1,200 feet, and stands as a prominent landmark in the Dallas skyline.

Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge

The sixth spot goes to the Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge, rising 138 feet above Corpus Christi Bay in Corpus Christi. Completed in 1959 as part of U.S. Route 181, it was the first segmental concrete box girder bridge in the U.S. and the world’s longest of its kind at the time. Vital for connecting the city to North Beach attractions, it facilitates access to landmarks like the Texas State Aquarium and the USS Lexington Museum.

Galveston Causeway

Closing the list is the Galveston Causeway, with a clearance of 73 feet above Galveston Bay in Galveston. Originally constructed in 1912, it underwent significant upgrades, culminating in its current concrete and steel form. Currently undergoing reconstruction to add two new spans and increase clearance to 125 feet, this bridge serves as the sole road link between Galveston Island and the mainland.


These seven highest bridges in Texas not only serve as impressive feats of engineering but also play vital roles as connectors and attractions in the state. Each bridge embodies the rich history, culture, and innovation of Texas and its inhabitants. Should you find yourself crossing or visiting these bridges, prepare to be captivated by their beauty and ingenuity.

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