The Lobato (Costilla Crossing) Bridge is the southernmost bridge over the Rio Grande River in Colorado. It sits on County Road G between Antonito and Jaroso, Colorado and was originally constructed in 1892 by Joseph F. Thomas. He was a civil engineer and the Conejos County Surveyor and lived in Manassa, Co.. The bridge was purchased from the Wrought Iron Bridge Company of Canton, Ohio for the sum of $8,400. The bridge parts were shipped to Colorado by train and assembled on location.
Thomas received a commendation from the Colorado State Legislature for completing the construction ahead of schedule and under budget. At the time it was the longest, highest, double-span steel-truss bridge west of the Mississippi River.
Also known as the Old State Bridge, it has been listed on the National Registry of Historic Structures since 1985. The bridge stretches 313.9 feet long with a deck width of 15.7 feet.
The Wrought Iron Bridge Company was eventually consolidated by J.P. Morgan, the American corporate financier, into the American Bridge Company in 1900.
With the help of grants, the bridge was rehabilitated and rededicated in 2006. The Lobato Bridge is the oldest vehicular truss in southern Colorado. – By Mike Rosso