ELGIN, Texas — Damaged and covered in vegetation, it's a safety hazard to many, but also a historic gem -- and time is running out to save it. But one production company could be a step closer to saving the bridge and owning it.
It's the Lower Elgin Road Truss Bridge, which was built in 1888 and is just 15 minutes south of Elgin's main street.
New Republic Studios, a production company in western Bastrop County, wants to take the bridge off of the county's hands to add to their 200-acre plot of land.
"So for us, it's a piece of history that we definitely want to keep and we want to make sure that we're able to utilize it in any way to continue that tradition of using it in the movie business," said Mindy Raymond, Director of Marketing at New Republic Studios.
The bridge does not belong to the studio yet, the county is trying to find a contractor who will repair the bridge using federal and state grants. That process can take as long as six weeks. After that, negotiations on a lease for the bridge would start.
"But I do remember as a little kid driving across them, when they were still used," said Elgin Mayor Chris Cannon.
That's not the case in 2018. The bridge was decommissioned in 1997 and was severely damaged during flooding in 2015. Cannon said the historical bridge is dangerous, and if nothing is done, it could be torn down. Cannon does support the history and perseverance of the county's efforts.
"We want that bridge to have a good location. We want to be responsible to the City of Elgin, which is our job first and foremost. We’re very supportive of the county and its effort to make that bridge -- that location’s safety -- make that location safe, and preserve our history any way we can," said Cannon.
While the City supports the bridge, members voted against it because of the financial upkeep.
"We want to assist the county however we can. We just weren't able to do it in that last transaction," said Cannon.
That's where the production company comes in. The studio would handle the financial and physical upkeep of the bridge.
"It's a piece of history that these bridges all over the United States are starting to disappear – and so the fact that we have one that's so close to the studio we really have a piece in, you know, it's very exciting for us," said Raymond.
This wouldn't be the first time the bridge has been involved with film production. It was featured in the movie, "Michael," starring John Travolta, "Joe," starring Nicholas Cage, and the TV show "Fear the Walking Dead."
For more information about the bridge, click here.