Rating:
2 votes

Jefferson Highway Old Channel Verdigris River Bridge

Photos 

As seen from E0505 at Okay, Oklahoma

Photo taken by Gene McCluney in June 2009

Enlarge

BH Photo #140930

Map 

Essay 

Written by Gene McCluney

It is always a treat to actually "discover" a long abandoned bridge. Our Delorme Topo mapping software showed a road crossing the old channel of the Verdigris at Okay, Oklahoma, yet there was no listing for this bridge on any web site. We went anyway, and were surprised to find the bridge still mostly intact. It now crosses the old channel of the Verdigris to an island, as the newer navigation channel was cut further west, cutting off the road. The land is an island with no access except by boat, as this bridge is not traversable. A pony span approach has fallen into the river on the east side. It appears that there is at least one pony truss span on the west side, but the roadway is so overgrown it is difficult to tell if there is another. The center pier has crumbled under the south support for the west through truss, and it leans.

This is an old bridge. It has small structural members for its size and it is pin connected. It still has its wood deck, which is surprising for a bridge abandoned so long. I would guess this bridge dates to about 1910-1912.

Facts 

Overview
Abandoned multi-span camelback through truss bridge over Verdigris River (Old Channel) on E0505 in Okay
Location
Okay, Wagoner County, Oklahoma
Status
Abandoned
History
Originally carried SR 16 across the Verdigris, was abandoned when new Navigation channel was cut.
Design
2 Camelback through truss spans with at least 2 pony truss approach spans, one of which has fallen.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+35.84691, -95.32250   (decimal degrees)
35°50'49" N, 95°19'21" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/290256/3969458 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Northeast Muskogee
Inventory number
BH 42664 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Categories 

Abandoned (3,277)
Built during 1920s (9,368)
Camelback truss (324)
Jefferson Highway (41)
Okay, Oklahoma (1)
Oklahoma (1,963)
Through truss (13,796)
Truss (30,869)
US 69 (45)
US 73 (1)
Wagoner County, Oklahoma (23)
Wooden deck (5,988)

Update Log 

  • October 3, 2013: Updated by Luke Harden: Added photographs
  • September 24, 2010: New photo from Nathan Morton
  • June 4, 2009: Essay added by Gene McCluney

Sources 

  • Gene McCluney - gmacfilm [at] live [dot] com
  • Nathan Morton - morton890 [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Luke

Comments 

Jefferson Highway Old Channel Verdigris River Bridge
Posted January 22, 2016, by Wes Kinsler (webmaster [at] wkinsler [dot] com)

The design features of this bridge strongly suggest pre-WWI.

Bridges built new in the 1920's were of heavier construction.

Jefferson Highway Old Channel Verdigris River Bridge
Posted October 4, 2013, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

There are some pretty well documented examples of pinned connections used into the late '20s.

http://bridgehunter.com/mo/johnson/1530015/

It might be something about longer spans.

Jefferson Highway Old Channel Verdigris River Bridge
Posted October 4, 2013, by Matt Lohry

I would argue the 1925 build date. This bridge appears to be pin-connected, and pinned connections were long gone by 1925.

Verdigris River Bridge (Old Channel) at Okay, OK
Posted October 3, 2013, by Tom Hoffman

This massive bridge would be a neat one to restore.

Verdigris River Bridge (Old Channel) at Okay, OK
Posted October 3, 2013, by Jay Bissell (jay_54714 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

The Oklahoma Bridge Survey site states that the bridge was built in 1925. It is a four span, mixed truss bridge with the longest span being 200 feet long. The total length is approximately 500 feet.

Verdigris River Bridge (Old Channel) at Okay, OK
Posted May 10, 2011, by junior wilson (edgar wilson [at] live [dot] com)

this bridge was used for the jefferson highway, us 73 and us 69 and then possibly ok 16

Verdigris River Bridge (Old Channel) at Okay, OK
Posted December 1, 2010, by Tony Robison (trobison [at] entzhuffman [dot] com)

I have a lot of memories of the old bridge too. It was closed shortly after I moved there in the 70's. You could still drive over it till sometime in the mid 80's when they installed beams on the east side to prevent cars from entering. It should still have my name on it as well as hundreds of others, ha. You can still get to it by foot over the earthen dam on the northwest side of the island. Tony Robison

Verdigris River Bridge (Old Channel) at Okay, OK
Posted November 11, 2009, by vicki Kay (vickikay3333 [at] sbcglobal [dot] net)

I remember as a child (early 1960s ) my father would would hold my brothers 2 and 5 years on his lap, he would let them steer as we drove over the bridge to my grandparents house...My grandfather would walk us to Haps bate shop and then take us fishing under the bridge I have many happy memories Thanks for the pictures

Vicki Kay.. Grandparents Tom and Beth Hilbern