Rating:
4 votes

Okolona West 4th Street Overpass

Photos 

Okolona Railroad Bridge Overpass

Photo showing east side of all wood bridge and unique design.

Photo taken by J Randall Houp, July 21, 2007

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BH Photo #225854

Map 

History: 

Written by J Randall Houp

I found this old beauty back in 2007 and have been back 3 more times since. Bridge was originally built by Arkansas Southwestern Railroad in February 1902 and has gone through several different owners since then. To me, this is the most beautiful all wood railroad bridge in Arkansas because of its unusual design. I named this bridge, The Dinosaur Backbone, because of its unique style and design. Before it was closed I had the opportunity to drive across it several times just for the fun of it. When going up either side all you could see was nothing but sky until you level off at the top briefly. This bridge sits on the same railroad famous for the "Gurdon Light". One of two bridges built on this railroad of this style. The 2nd one has since been torn down at Rosboro, Arkansas in northeast Pike County. Unfortunately, this bridge and the old historic railroad originally founded in 1885 doesn't have much time left. Removal of rails and ties are scheduled some time this year. Whether the old bridge will be left is not known at this time. Note: A lot of private property next to bridge.

Facts 

Overview
Bridge over Railroad on West 4th Street
Location
Okolona, Clark County, Arkansas
Status
Closed to all traffic
History
Built 1902
Railroad
- Arkansas Southwestern Railroad (ARSW)
Design
Timber stringer
Approximate latitude, longitude
+34.00177, -93.34278   (decimal degrees)
34°00'06" N, 93°20'34" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/468345/3762404 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Okolona North
Inventory number
BH 51393 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • February 22, 2012: Essay added by J Randall Houp

Sources 

  • J. Randall Houp

Comments 

Okolona Railroad Bridge Overpass
Posted July 6, 2013, by Claudette Killingsworth Harris (ClAudetteharris [at] centurylink [dot] net)

I grew up in Okolona. As a child we would be playing at a house in town and hear the train whistle! We would take off running down the road and get to the peak of the bridge just as the train came underneath!

It was a scary feeling at first, you wanted to run because that train was coming straight at you! After the engine past under the bridge, it was not so scary! I remember the engineers waving for us to back away from the train, but we didn't! We also played underneath the bridge a lot! Now that I am an adult, I can see how dangerous it was for us to play so close to the track as the train came through! One of my favorite places in childhood memories!!