Restoring TOWN BRANCH CREEK - Arched Bridge Discovered
Photos & Article: By Suzanne Steed
Ron Duncan, City Administrator, spoke with Suzanne Steed on the Special Environmental Project that is currently under way in Old-Town Downtown Crockett.. Mr. Duncan began:
The City of Crockett has been conducting a Special Environmental Project (SEP) in cooperation with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, which is intended to restore Town Branch Creek between Dallas Street and Bell Avenue, by the Houston County Visitors Center and Museum. Ron Duncan stated that the City plans to use the track hoe to restore the area behind the St. Luke's and Greater St. Paul’s Churches, as well as the depot side to make a cleaner, more pristine environment. Recently, when the cleaning of the creek began and the stone shoulders were uncovered, a beautiful arched semi-circular bridge, constructed of hand made bricks on Dallas Street was uncovered. The bridge is in remarkable condition. Eliza Bishop is one of the few who remembers this arched bridge.
The city plans to clean as much of the creek within the city while the track hoe is on site. Thus far Town Branch Creek from the site of the Old McCullough Funeral home has been cleaned, to Bell Avenue, adjacent to the Barclay’s Funeral Home. Town branch next to the Missouri-Pacific Railroad Right-of-Way has also been cleaned, uncovering culverts, and restoring the natural flow of the creek. Also, being cleaned is Town Branch Creek between the I.T. Williams Park and old San Antonio Road. Once this project is completed, the creeks and right of ways should be cleaner, neater and clear of trash, blockages and debris. The city will use the remaining rental period of the track hoe restoring Gail Creek between Bowie Avenue (U.S. Hwy 287) past East Loop 304.
This project has had several outstanding benefits. The Houston County Visitor’s Center and Museum, as well as behind the Greater St. Paul’s and St. Luke’s Churches, has been cleaned which has provided a more pleasing environment for visitors and church fellowship. The surrounding ground has different levels or surfaces, which is a great beginning for landscaping. This area was known as “#2 Gin- in- the- Hole” many years ago, with the Arnolds being the last owner, is once again beautiful. Cleaning the creeks has eliminated major blockages, which will reduce the Mosquito hazard by eliminating standing water. The creek cleanup will also facilitate quicker drainage of storm water in the effected neighborhoods, reducing nuisance flooding.