Rating:
6 votes

Newcastle Bridge

Photos 

Looking south from new bridge

Photo taken by David Backlin in June 2009

Enlarge

BH Photo #141970

Map 

Street Views 

Facts 

Overview
Lost through truss bridge over S. Canadian River on old US 62/277
Location
McClain County, Oklahoma, and Cleveland County, Oklahoma
Status
Two spans collapsed in May 20, 2013 tornado. Seven surviving spans were then demolished, and the remaining single span donated to Newcastle.
History
Built 1923, Lost to tornado 2013
Builder
- Missouri Valley Bridge & Iron Co. of Leavenworth, Kansas
Design
Ten span Parker through truss
Also called
Ozark Trail Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+35.30194, -97.59889   (decimal degrees)
35°18'07" N, 97°35'56" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
14/627386/3907428 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Oklahoma City SE
Inventory number
BH 37360 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • September 29, 2014: New Street View added by Ralph Demars
  • July 2, 2013: Updated by Nathan Holth: Expanded bridge status.
  • May 22, 2013: New photo from Zach Elliott
  • May 21, 2013: Updated by Luke Harden: Added category "Destroyed by tornado"
  • May 20, 2013: Photo imported by Alexander D. Mitchell IV
  • May 20, 2013: Updated by J Lance: Bridge destroyed by tornado
  • February 25, 2012: New photos from Steve Conro
  • April 19, 2010: New Street View added by Nathan Holth
  • June 30, 2009: New photo from David Backlin
  • October 21, 2008: Updated by David Backlin
  • September 18, 2008: Updated by David Backlin: Updated description based on information from ODOT
  • September 3, 2008: Added by David Backlin

Sources 

Comments 

Newcastle Bridge
Posted June 9, 2013, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

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.

Newcastle Bridge
Posted June 8, 2013, by Zachary S

"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.

Newcastle Bridge
Posted June 8, 2013, by Jason Smith (JDSmith77 [at] gmx [dot] net)

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....

Newcastle Bridge
Posted June 7, 2013, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

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.

Newcastle Bridge
Posted June 7, 2013, by John Marvig (johnmarvig [at] chaska [dot] net)

Nathan,

Whole thing is coming down. Jason posted a photo earlier that showed about 3/4 of it gone already.

Newcastle Bridge
Posted June 7, 2013, by david fisk (texasbluesman [at] hotmail [dot] com)

see photos and note in forum i posted showing bridge being torn up

Newcastle Bridge
Posted June 6, 2013, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

News article from the Oklahoman

http://tinyurl.com/lnwzkqk

Newcastle Bridge
Posted June 5, 2013, by Zachary S

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.

Newcastle Bridge
Posted May 24, 2013, by Wes Kinsler (webmaster [at] wkinsler [dot] com)

Er, make that near the north end.

Newcastle Bridge
Posted May 24, 2013, by Wes Kinsler (webmaster [at] wkinsler [dot] com)

It is still there-only 2 spans near the middle were destroyed by the tornado.

Newcastle Bridge
Posted May 23, 2013, by Mike Olszewski (molszewski99 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I visited this bridge while in town on business May 9 and shot these photos; who knew it'd be gone 2 weeks later...

Newcastle Bridge
Posted May 23, 2013, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

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.

Newcastle Bridge
Posted May 22, 2013, by Zach Elliott

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.....

Newcastle Bridge
Posted May 22, 2013, by Zach Elliott

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.

Newcastle Bridge
Posted May 22, 2013, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

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.

Newcastle Bridge
Posted May 22, 2013, by Zach Elliott

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....

Newcastle Bridge
Posted May 21, 2013, by J.P. (wildcatjon2000 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I just seen the pictures on here, looks like only a one span is completely gone while the 2nd is twisted.

Newcastle Bridge
Posted May 21, 2013, by Julie (Jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I too wouldn't be so quick as to call it destroyed or lost. Looks repairable to me.

Newcastle Bridge
Posted May 21, 2013, by J.P. (wildcatjon2000 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Just seen a status on google+ saying the bridge is gone.

Newcastle Bridge
Posted May 20, 2013, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

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.

Newcastle Bridge
Posted May 20, 2013, by Alexander D. Mitchell IV (LNER4472 [at] verizon [dot] net)

Photos from Facebook (uploaded here) show at least one truss span knocked off piers.

Newcastle Bridge
Posted May 20, 2013, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

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.

Newcastle Bridge
Posted November 4, 2009, by Eric Welch

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.