O K ALLEN BRIDGE
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.
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.
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.
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).
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 Of course this bridge is outdated and admittedly scary to cross, but its such a magnificent structure.
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.
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.
The proposed new bridge. Appears to be a UCEB as y'all call it here :)
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"
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.
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.