10 votes

O.K. Allen Bridge


Side view

Photos taken March 2007 by David Backlin

BH Photo #109098

Street Views 



Play video on YouTube


Jensen Construction Company of Tulsa, Oklahoma, has won the bid to build the Fort Buhlow bridges. Jensen narrowly outbid the local Gilchrist Construction Co. of Alexandria, LA. Twin, two-lane concrete bridges will be built, with approaches from Third Street in Alexandria, and Claiborne Street in Pineville (in the process replacing the current bridge over the railroad just NE of the lake. Right-of-way clearing is in full effect.

Brief History 

Written by Cliff Darby

This bridge is named for Governor Oscar K. Allen, the 42nd Governor of Louisiana. It was built in 1936 along with several other bridges along US 71. The OK Allen was the second roadway between Alexandria and Pineville, the only other (at the time) was the narrow Murray Street Bridge, a through-truss swing bridge, which was demolished in the 1980s to make way for the Gillis Long Bridge (also known as the Jackson Street bridge). The third Red River crossing in Rapides Parish was the Fulton Street Bridge, a four-lane vertical lift, through truss bridge, built in the 1960s and demolished in the mid 1990s to make way for (you guessed it) concrete and steel UCEBs that connect to Interstate 49.

Plans have been in the works for the last two decades to replace the OK Allen, due to the narrow width lanes, low vertical clearance, and lack of shoulders. The Louisiana TIMED project outlined plans to replace this bridge; plans that are coming to fruition. The OK Allen will be replaced with two Concrete I-Beam bridges that connect to Interstate 49 to the west, and the 165/71 interchange to the east. Bidding will be let by July 23, 2010, with completion of the entire project around 2014.

Further Reading:





K-Parker through truss bridge over Red River on US 71
Alexandria, Rapides Parish, Louisiana
Replaced by new bridge; destroyed September 2015
Built 1936; Lost 2015
- Harrington & Cortelyou of Kansas City
- Jensen Construction Co. of Des Moines, Iowa & Sand Springs, Oklahoma
Main span: K-Parker through truss
Approaches: K-deck trusses
Length of largest span: 500.0 ft.
Total length: 1,919.4 ft.
Deck width: 23.6 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 13.7 ft.
Also called
Red River US 71 Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+31.32687, -92.45178   (decimal degrees)
31°19'37" N, 92°27'06" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/552157/3465957 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Average daily traffic (as of 2014)
Inventory number
BH 19100 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of December 2014)
Overall condition: Poor
Superstructure condition rating: Critical (2 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Critical (2 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Critical (2 out of 9)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • September 9, 2021: New photo from Geoff Hubbs
  • September 27, 2015: Updated by David Backlin: Lost
  • July 28, 2013: New photos from M. D. Caillet
  • May 30, 2013: New photo from M. D. Caillet
  • October 20, 2011: Updated by Cliff Darby: Updated Status
  • January 2, 2011: New video from Cliff Darby
  • September 21, 2010: Updated by Cliff Darby: Bid for replacement has been accepted.
  • July 29, 2010: Updated by Cliff Darby: Edited Description
  • July 12, 2010: Updated by Cliff Darby: Updated replacement info
  • April 19, 2010: New Street View added by Nathan Holth
  • April 7, 2010: Essay added by Cliff Darby
  • March 25, 2010: New photos from David Backlin
  • March 7, 2010: Updated by Cliff Darby: Added Street View
  • February 19, 2010: New photo from Cliff Darby
  • July 22, 2009: Updated by C Hanchey: corrected GPS coordinates
  • September 27, 2007: Posted photos from David Backlin



O.K. Allen Bridge
Posted September 16, 2015, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Louisiana is right there with the state of Maine for a completely non-existant preservation track record, and a complete unwillingness to discuss preservation, all fueled by misinformation about feasibility and poor assessments of historic significance. Both states are essentially a "lost cause" when it comes to preservation and unless major change occurs, both states will eventually have no historic bridges of any kind.

O.K. Allen Bridge
Posted September 16, 2015, by Matt Lohry

How stupid. All of the reasons that they cited for demolishing this bridge are unacceptable. All of the reasons are related to functional obsolescence, not structural deficiency. This would have made a perfect bicycle & pedestrian bridge with minimal effort, but obviously the powers that be thought otherwise...

O.K. Allen Bridge
Posted September 16, 2015, by Robby Fisher (daisyfisf [at] Gmail [dot] com)

the Ok Allen bridge will be demolished on Saturday September 19 2015

O.K. Allen Bridge
Posted March 24, 2015, by Robby fisher (daisyfisf [at] gmail [dot] com)

The OK Allen bridge officially closed on Tuesday march 17,2015 and is currently being demolished. Traffic is now moving on the north bound two lane new bridge

O.K. Allen Bridge
Posted October 9, 2014, by Cliff

Trucks are now forbidden from crossing the bridge after the last inspection. I'll have to double check but I think the load limit was decreased as well.

O.K. Allen Bridge
Posted July 1, 2010, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

I hope they delay demolishing this bridge for 200 years! And my opinion is that modern replacement bridges are so ugly that naming them after anyone is an insult to whomever they would be named after.

O.K. Allen Bridge
Posted June 26, 2010, by Cliff Darby (clif30 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

According to an article in the local paper, bidding on this project has been pushed back another three to four months. Construction would begin another three months after that.

It has been proposed to name the bridge after a recently-deceased pastor. (Opinion) I think it would be best to continue the tradition of naming bridges after Governors (end opinion).


O.K. Allen Bridge
Posted April 7, 2010, by Cliff Darby (clif30 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

The Mayor & City Council of Pineville have begun securing rights of way to start construction of the new bridge. According to The Town Talk, this should be done in the next few weeks, and bidding will be let in May. Once THIS takes place, construction of the new bridge and approaches will begin this fall.


It really is quite bittersweet. Of course this bridge is outdated and admittedly scary to cross, but its such a magnificent structure.

Red River US 71 Bridge
Posted January 31, 2010, by Cliff D (clif30 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

This vertical lift railroad bridge is directly north of the OK Allen bridge (which can be seen in the background). Surprised there is no listing for this bridge as it appears very old and it a through-truss design.

Red River US 71 Bridge
Posted January 31, 2010, by Cliff D (clif30 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Tried to get some pictures today, but the recreation area directly north of the bridge is currently under renovations and recent rains have rendered the abutments muddy. Hopefully the rec area road is open before this bridge meets its end so I can get better pics from the north side. Pretty hard to get on the levee on the South bank (plus its directly adjacent to a rough neighborhood) and again the ground is soft.

Red River US 71 Bridge
Posted January 6, 2010, by Cliff (D)

The proposed new bridge. Appears to be a UCEB as y'all call it here :)


Red River US 71 Bridge
Posted January 5, 2010, by Cliff D (clif30 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Bidding will be let this spring to replace the bridge with a four-lane bridge to be completed in the next five years.


IDK the protocol for changing bridge status but this one should definately become "doomed"

Red River US 71 Bridge
Posted November 22, 2009, by Cliff D (clif30 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

This bridge is scheduled to be replaced and demolished as a part of the TIMED project, according to various sources.

I find it interesting that this bridge can receive such a poor rating (3.5 out of 100) yet is still allowed to carry traffic at high volumes on a daily basis. Several other bridges listed on this website have better ratings and have been closed to vehicle traffic.

Red River US 71 Bridge
Posted January 25, 2009, by Robert Lachney (Hmby41 [at] aol [dot] com)

Better known as O.K. Allen Bridege named after Gov Oscar Kelly Allen Sr. 42nd Governor of Louisiana 1932 to 1936. Born Winn Parish Aug 8 1982 Died Baton Rouge (in office of a Brain Hemmorage) Jan 28 1936. Was Nominated to succede Huey P Long as Senator who was Assasinated in Office on Sept 8 1936 and died Sept 10 1936.