Looking south from new bridge
Photo taken by David Backlin in June 2009
BH Photo #141970
It is better to save one span than none at all, and I think that is a worthy cause if the bridge is not being left in place. However, this bridge was unique and stood out among bridges in the region since it was one of the longest simple span pin-connected truss bridges in existence. A single span preservation will not have this distinction. Moreover, complete demolition was not needed.
"Hey, I have an idea! Let's tear down the rest of an incredibly historic bridge that only had a couple out of its many spans destroyed by a tornado for 'safety reasons'! We've been looking for an excuse to tear down the eyesore for decades anyway!"
I just don't get it. At least one span might be getting preserved. Farewell to an historic icon in Oklahoma railroading.
Well Nathan, if there is one consolation, the southernmost span will be kept and given to the City of Newcastle, according to their facebook webiste. It's more of a question of what to do with that remaining span....
Thanks for clarifying the status of this bridge. I will consider this one of the top ten greatest offenses against historic bridges that I have witnessed since I began in 2003. And that is quite an achievement for Oklahoma. It is obscene. Didn't the tornado destroy enough of Oklahoma?! Now we have some idiots destroying something that the tornado spared. Whoever would authorize the destruction of this bridge is without a soul. It should have been left standing like the Kinzua Viaduct in Pennsylvania.
Whole thing is coming down. Jason posted a photo earlier that showed about 3/4 of it gone already.
see photos and note in forum i posted showing bridge being torn up
News article from the Oklahoman
It's a damn shame if they're tearing the rest of it down rather than leaving what's left - there is no reason to demolish the rest of a beautiful bridge like that.
Er, make that near the north end.
It is still there-only 2 spans near the middle were destroyed by the tornado.
I visited this bridge while in town on business May 9 and shot these photos; who knew it'd be gone 2 weeks later...
National Weather Service has an interesting Google Earth file showing the track of the tornado with site observations. http://www.srh.noaa.gov/images/oun/wxevents/20130520/2013052...
Oddly, they do not appear to have surveyed the bridge damage, and I think the track of the tornado could be a little off in that area as a result. However, based on the map, I am guessing the spans that fell could have been subjected to EF2 forces, while the rest of the spans might have been experiencing winds as great as EF1.
I also thought that it looked like the winds really threw the truss spans into the modern bridge... with enough force that the bottom chord dragged along the ground, tearing up the grass. That is visible in some of the aerial photos.
Something else I got to thinking about today, is that it looks like in a few images i've seen that the old bridge was essentially thrown against the new bridge. Makes me wonder if the new bridge wasn't there, if the old one would have literally been picked up and tossed around in the tornado. It was shown to displace huge items and that last thing you need is a bridge span swirling around.....
I may take a trip out this weekend Nathan. I'm trying to avoid being a lookie-loo with the damage from this, especially since i'm a meteorologist, but I could get away with taking photos of the bridge and leaving it at that.
Zach, I would encourage you to still go photograph the bridge if you can. 80% of the bridge is still standing. There is a risk that Oklahoma will take advantage of the disaster declaration and use it as an excuse to demolish all 10 spans even though it appears only two spans were blown off.
I live in Norman and kept telling myself this last year on lazy weekends I needed to go take photos of this bridge, now i'm kicking myself for not doing it....
I just seen the pictures on here, looks like only a one span is completely gone while the 2nd is twisted.
I too wouldn't be so quick as to call it destroyed or lost. Looks repairable to me.
Just seen a status on google+ saying the bridge is gone.
I had a bad feeling when I saw the NWS preliminary path. However, I would not describe the whole bridge as lost/collapsed. Looks like at least half the bridge is still standing. That has kept the Kinzua Viaduct in PA alive in some format, and also the Walnut Street Bridge in Harrisburg. Also, if FEMA money is applied to cleanup this disaster as it undoubtedly will, I believe Section 106 will apply.
Photos from Facebook (uploaded here) show at least one truss span knocked off piers.
PRELIMINARY path of the Tornado that went through this area today places this bridge in the vicinity of the Tornado's path. Hopefully it survived, but honestly with so many destructive tornadoes in Oklahoma I am surprised as many bridges have stood as long as they have.
I just visited this one last week during the day and at night. It's right next to a Natural Gas Line so there's a lot of hazardous and danger signs. My buddy climbed underneath it and we noticed a hole the size of a person, kinda spooky, but once on it the rotting wood looks stable enough. Here's a photo I took of it.