A century old trail of Roanoke history
Written by: Jason Newton
In June of 1912, the Denton County Commissioners Court authorized $700 (a large sum in those days, to build the Litsey Road Bridge, a much-needed bridge over Henrietta Creek near the town of Roanoke.
Originally, the Litsey Road Bridge was designed to help farmers and citizens of Elizabethtown transport back and forth to nearby Roanoke and surrounding communities by horse-drawn wagons. Decades later it would be converted into a one-lane bridge for automobiles.
In 2007, the Litsey Road Bridge was officially closed when structural cracks were discovered during an inspection. However, this would not be the end of this historic structure. Thanks to the forward-thinking city officials, the bridge was destined for another use and stored away.
In 2019, when plans were being drawn for the new Cade Branch Pedestrian Trail around the Briarwyck neighborhood in Roanoke, a bridge was needed to span over the Cade Branch Creek. The 100-year-old, 68-foot Warren Pony Truss style iron bridge suddenly got a new lease on life. Thanks to the Roanoke’s mayor, Scooter Gierisch and the Department of Parks and Recreation, the bridge was finally put in place by the end of the year. The pedestrian trail opened in 2020 and this historical bridge once again stands strong as families safely pass over the creek.
Looking back, I wonder if those Denton County Commissioners could imagine that the old Litsey Road Bridge would still be in use 108 years later for us to enjoy.
To view the bridge’s beautiful new home on the Cade Branch Pedestrian Trail, enter the trail on the north side, near the intersection of Blythe Bridge Drive and Marshall Creek Road in the Briarwyck community in Roanoke.
Sources: Thank you to the Denton County Archives for historical data and photographs. Newer images are courtesy of Jason Newton. For more information and a bird’s eye perspective, visit Jason Newton’s YouTube Channel.