Grade Separation (Over/Under Pass), Fillmore St S, Amarillo

Address: Grade Separation (Over/Under Pass), Fillmore St S, Amarillo

Date: 1931

Historic Uses: Grade Separation (Over/Under Pass)

Stylistic Influences: Art Deco

National Register of Historic Places: Recommended Eligible

Main Content

Underpass road segment with two lanes in each direction, elevated sidewalks with decorative arched balustrades on each side, and three separate railroad bridges overhead.  Railroad bridges supported by heavy tapered concrete piers and cross beams. Reinforced concrete with decorative scoring.

Architect: City of Amarillo, En. Stanley, engineer with Fort Worth & Denver Railroad and Rock Island Railroad.

A recommended eligible resource of particular note is the Fillmore Street Underpass (between East First and NE Second avenues) was built in 1931 as a joint project by the City of Amarillo, the Fort Worth & Denver Railroad and Chicago, and the Rock Island & Gulf Railway.  This underpass depresses the roadbed below the railroad grade, permitting the continuous flow of two-way vehicular traffic beneath the operating rail line.  Originally, this underpass had two-way traffic as evidenced by the concrete divider curbing, but now has one-way traffic flow (north-bound).  The underpass was installed both as a safety measure and as a mechanism to relieve traffic congestion.  This particular underpass has several separate bridging structures consisting of a reinforced-concrete underpass beneath three concrete-clad steel railroad bridges.  The central roadbed passes underneath, flanked on either side by sidewalks separated from the roadway by concrete balustrades punctuated by vertical piers and round-arched openings.  Ornamental street lights that originally stood on each side of the entrance have since disappeared.  The design of the bridge recalls 1930s Art Moderne style, notable in the incised groove at the wall joints and the massing of the piers.  The underpass has a metal name and date plaque as well as pressed concrete name and date panels listing “1931” and “Burlington Route” on the south bridge on both sides and “1931” and “Rock Island” on the north bridge on both sides.  The center bridge has no names or dates shown. 

This underpass is significant and is recommended eligible under Criterion A in the area of Transportation as a representative of measures taken to improve speed of travel and safety of the passengers.  This structure is also recommended eligible under Criterion C in the area of Engineering as an outstanding example of Art Moderne styling in public infrastructure.

TxDOT bridge numbers: 041880004107016, 041880004107054, 041880004107055.

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