Bridge City, Texas

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Bridge City is a city in Orange County, Texas in the Gulf Coast Region. The town borders the Neches River and Cow Bayou.

The city was originally named Prairie View, as it was located on the coastal grasslands of the upper Texas coastline. But in 1938, the Port Arthur-Orange Bridge (now known as the Rainbow Bridge) was built, and the unincorporated area took on the name “Bridge City”. Despite several previous attempts, the city did not incorporate until 1970.

Bridge City got its name from the fact that one has to cross a bridge to enter the city. Out of the three major roads that enter Bridge City, Chemical Road, SH 87, and F.M. 1442 – all of them cross a body of water. SH 87 crosses the Neches River and Cow Bayou – Cow Bayou on the Orange side and the Neches River on the Port Arthur side. Chemical Road crosses a branch off of the Sabine River and Cow Bayou. F.M. 1442 crosses a small creek off Cow Bayou between F.M. 105 and the Bridge City City limits. F.M. 1442 also crosses Cow Bayou just north of Orangefield and south of Interstate 10.

The Bridge City post office was established in 1946, and by 1952 the estimated population had reached 3,000. Industrial growth was aided by the channelization of Cow Bayou, the completion of a private electric plant in 1962, and the presence of nearby oilfields and petrochemical plants. Despite Bridge City’s rapid growth, voters proved reluctant to incorporate their community. Although the population was 4,677 in 1960, two incorporation attempts in 1961 failed to secure a majority of voters. In 1970 Bridge City electors finally agreed to incorporate by a margin of 677 to 466. By that time, the population had increased to 8,164. In 1980 the population was 7,667, and in 1990 it was 8,034, and in 2000 it was 8,651.

In 1990, Bridge City became the first city in Texas to install “leaning” streetlights because of the tall electrical lines near the roadway

In 2008, the storm surge generated by Hurricane Ike caused nearly complete flooding of Bridge City. Mayor Kirk Roccaforte estimated that only 14 homes in the city were unaffected by the surge.

Things to Do:

Bridge City Historical Museum

Built in 1930 as a residence for former Prairie View school district teachers and the principal’s family this museum includes memorabilia on the city’s growth. Many items were donated by former teachers and students. The building also houses the chamber of commerce office. Open Mon.-Fri. 9AM-3PM. Located at 150 W. Roundbunch Road.

Lower Neches Wildlife Management Area Observation Platform.

This wildlife platform is locaonated on an abandoned oil well drilling site and overlooks the Sabine River marsh, allowing visitors to see egrets, ducks and other wildlife in their natural habitat. Open daily. Located on Lake Street.

Two other fun cities to visit near Bridge City include Orange, Texas and Beaumont, Texas.

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Texas Events

Prairies and Lakes March Events

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Prairie and Lakes Events Arlington March 31…Maverick Speaker Series: Jane Goodall…College Park Center at UT Arlington Belton Through March 12… Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race…www.bellcountymuseum.org March 12…Bell County Museum Great Garage Sale…www.bellcountymuseum.org March 12-18…Spring Break at the Bell County Museum…www.bellcountymuseum.org March 19…Discover Day with Charley Chisholm…www.bellcountymuseum.org March 19-20… Sami Show Marketplace…Bell County Expo Center […]

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