In 1926, the Rio Felix bridge was built to connect Roswell with Artesia
and beyond. At the time, US 285 was not built yet. The state and federal
government helped fund a project to prevent motorists from being
stranded in times of river flooding.
Most bridges are placed at a
right angle to the river they are crossing, however, NM 2 was built
along section lines and crossed the Rio Felix at an angle. The engineer
decided to place the footings at an angle to the road and skew the
platform of the bridge to help strengthen it against the water flow.
bridge was used until 1987 when a new platform bridge was built next to
the Pratt. In 1997 the bridge was honored by being listed on the National Register of Historic Places and in 1978 was placed on the State Register of Historic Places (page 22). A narrative of the bridge and its history can be found in this registration form for its listing on the National Register.
Now with the reconstruction of NM 2 and the existing bridge deck, it is time to recognize the landmark with a Scenic Historical Marker. An application has been submitted to the New Mexico Historic Preservation Division of the Department of Cultural Affairs. But, funding the marker may be the death of the project.
you are interested in memorializing this state treasure, please
consider contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our goal is to have
the marker dedicated on April 21, 2012, Hagerman's Old Timers' Day, and help celebrate the New Mexico Statehood Centennial.