|Old US 90 Burned Out Bridge, Louisiana Across from Orange, TX|
Last updated May 5, 2005
Photos taken on April 23, 2005.
TexasFreeway.com will have a comprehensive report on the trip to the burned out bridge and the search for the lost city of East Orange, Louisiana. In the meantime, here is a sneak peak of what we found.
Old US 90 was the east-west route prior to the construction of Interstate 10. It crossed the Sabine River at Orange, TX, leading directly into the center of Orange. The Sabine River bridge was a mechanical design to allow the passage of vessels (rotating swing bridge, I think). Just east of the Sabine River in Louisiana US 90 traversed through a swampy area and featured a long timber bridge, approximatly 1 mile long. Directly across from Orange, Texas, a few structures were constructed along the highway and the area was informally called East Orange, Louisiana.
The Interstate 10 bridge over the Sabine River opened circa 1954, rendering the original US 90 as a secondary route. In the 1960s the Sabine River bridge was removed, making the old US 90 a dead end.
In 1973, the timber bridge burned. According to local legend, a suicidal person had a grudge against the highway department so he set both ends of the bridge on fire and parked his car in the middle. Whatever the real story, it is believed that the fire was set.
The burning of the bridge isolated a section of highway between the bridge and the Sabine River. It became an abandoned highway. The end of the accessible highway east of the burned out bridge is now a boat launch into a canal.
We used kayaks to reach the abandoned highway and then searched for remains of the structures. There wasn't much left of the structures.