What Makes Pennybacker Bridge a Must-To- Visit Spot in Austin, TX?

Pennybacker Bridge Austin TX

If you plan to visit Austin in Texas, do not miss Pennybacker Bridge or the 360 Bridge of Austin. Viewing a beautiful sunset over the bridge is an excellent treat to the eyes. Being there, in reality, is an experience in itself. With gorgeous downtown and lined scenic hills to view from the bridge, it remains so impressive that it remains an unforgettable picture-memory to cherish.



A drive over this bridge is one of the cherishing drives that can be taken anytime throughout the year. This bridge is on the 360 highway over Lake Austin/Colorado River in Austin, Capital of Texas. There’s parking available below the 360 bridge going south. The bridge is particularly popular for its phenomenal sunset views. One can view the wide sky from all the directions from this bridge.

To enjoy 360-views and share your experience, click the downtown skyline and lined scenic hills of West Austin. There are four wide lanes on the bridge and a wide 6-foot lane for biking and pedestrian walk. Enjoy the scenic sunset overlooking the bridge, which is one of its kind. You can take part in the activities on the lake.

Directions to Get to the Pennybacker Bridge

To get to 360- bridge, head to the south from 2222 to 360 loop of Capital of Texas highway. After passing W Courtyard Drive, just before the 360 bridge, you can see parking for all the vehicles along the cliff on the roadside to your right. You can park there and head towards the bridge by walk to get the best viewing experience in Austin from the bridge.

Best Time to Visit Pennybacker Bridge

You can visit it all year round and drive any time of the day, all through the year.

The Historical Importance of Pennybacker Bridge

  • Length of the bridge-1,150 feet/351 m
  • Length of the central arched span- 600-foot/183 m
  • Number of steel cables used-72
  • Cost of the bridge-10 million dollars
  • Started in 1979
  • Finished in 1982

This Texas-based bridge is an arch bridge situated in the area of Lone star of Austin, the capital of Texas. It carries the State’s 360 highway loop of Capital of Texas. The bridge runs over the Colorado River, and Lake Austin is its water reservoir.

Percy V. Pennybacker, a civil engineer, served for over 18 years for the Texas Highway Department. He pioneered the use of welding technology in constructing and repairing bridges. It is cost-efficient. The construction of Pennybacker Bridge began in 1979. The bridge was finished by the year 1982. He built his long bridge in a manner that no part of the bridge touches the water up to 100 feet below it. It is a 350.5-m/1,150-foot long bridge that is suspended over the water. The arch of the structure is held aloft using 72 cables of steel. This design is such that the entire support of the bridge is with the steel cables and not by using support columns. This design was done to keep boating activities, recreational fishing, water skiing, and other activities hindrance-free. To his honor, this bridge was given the name Pennybacker Bridge. As it lies on the 60 highway loop, it is also known as 360-Bridge. It was the 2nd bridge with the cable support design all over the world. Federal Highway Administration’s Excellence awarded this bridge first place in 1984 competition for highway design.

It has a rust-finish with a uniformly weathered look that blends with encircling lakes and hills. The bridge used 544,311 kg of steel bought from Japan. Hyundai designed bridge structures in Ulsan, Korea. Bristol Steel of Virginia erected the bridge. About 3,000,000 kg of concrete was used to construct the roadway surface. The weathering look was given to the bridge using a sandblasting technique. The bridge cost is about 10 million dollars.


Percy V. Pennyback, a civil engineer of the Texas highway department constructed with rust-colored steel curved bridge. To his honor, the bridge was given the name, Pennybacker Bridge. He built this steel cable suspension bridge so that it does not touch the water below. The design keeps the Colorado River/lake Austin water clear for water activities like water skiing, boating, fishing, etc. that take place here yearly. This bridge is a treat to all nature lovers who wish to see a fantastic sunset lined with scenic hills of west Austin. Driving over this bridge is a lovely experience. Do not miss this spot when visiting Austin.

Also, visit Covert Park.

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