The Bridge at DeHay’s Crossing

At one time, Hillcrest Drive in Waco, Texas was called “Speegleville Road”. It descended into the Bosque River Valley and led to a low-water crossing that crossed over to Speegleville. This was known as Mills Crossing because the Seth Mills Farm was on the other side of the river. Around 1900, a steel bridge with a wood plank floor was built at Mills Crossing.

When the first Waco Dam was built in 1929-30, the decision was made to move the Mills Crossing Bridge to the North Bosque. It was to be a part of a proposed 35-mile “scenic route” around the new lake. Many people who are still living remember driving over the “rickety” bridge…quite noisy as a car drove over. It was located near the DeHay Farm, and was named the DeHay Bridge. (The old Highway 6 Bridge replaced the Mills Crossing Bridge as the main bridge connecting Waco and Speegleville.)

The old DeHay Bridge was removed when the new dam was built 1958-64, and a new highway and bridge were constructed linking China Spring Highway to Highway 6. CR 185, also known as North River Crossing, is just up steam from the old DeHay Bridge.

Although it’s gone, and the location is now underwater, the old bridge served Waco and Speegleville for almost 60 years, with its first 30 years at Mills Crossing and its last 30 years at DeHay’s Crossing.

Photo courtesy of Mark Randolph/City of Waco.
Photo courtesy of Mark Randolph/City of Waco.
The DeHay Bridge over flood waters in 1959. From The Waco News Tribune, December 37, 1959. The photo of the flooding was from earlier in the year.
This map contributed by Larry E. Jenkins shows the approximate location of the DeHay Bridge.
This 1920 map, drawn before the construction of the first Lake Waco Dam in 1929-30, shows Speegleville Road, and the location of the old Speegleville Bridge at Mills Crossing shown at the left side of the photo, in the middle. This map is from our personal collection.
This present-day photo was contributed by Bennett Crow, who said: “Here’s how it looks today. Under water. The road goes out to where the bridge was.”

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