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Poteau River Bridge


KCS Railroad Bridge in Background. Standing round piers on right, fallen piers on south (left) side of photo.

Photo taken by Gene McCluney in March 2009


BH Photo #135409


Written by Gene McCluney

This bridge remnant is very interesting. The location is where the KCS railroad crosses the Poteau river south of Poteau, north of Howe. The north approach "could" be a continuation of a road that is now called Airport Road. The South approach is a branch off of 125 E1395. My theory is that it could be an ancient alignment of Hwy 59.


Lost Through Truss Bridge over Poteau River. Would be continuation of Airport Rd. south of Poteau, may have been ancient alignment of Hwy 59.
Le Flore County, Oklahoma
Through Truss
Approximate latitude, longitude
+34.99475, -94.62816   (decimal degrees)
34°59'41" N, 94°37'41" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/351411/3873671 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory number
BH 41305 (Bridgehunter.com ID)


Le Flore County, Oklahoma (72)
Lost (30,632)
Oklahoma (2,037)
Poteau River (13)
Through truss (18,258)
Truss (37,310)

Update Log 

  • August 26, 2010: Updated by Matthew Lohry: Updated GPS location--The south approach is visible on Google Earth, but no sign of north approach
  • March 15, 2009: Essay added by Gene McCluney



Poteau River Bridge
Posted December 6, 2016, by J Lance (bugo [at] hotmail [dot] com)

If you go to historicaerials.com and search for Poteau, OK and navigate to this crossing and click on the 1955 aerial, it appears to show a truss bridge with no deck.

Poteau River Bridge
Posted March 7, 2016, by J Lance (bugo [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I'm 99.9% sure US 59 never ran through here. US 59 in Oklahoma didn't exist until 1934. The predecessor to US 59, OK 23, *might* have run through here but I doubt it. This was likely a county road bridge.

Poteau River Bridge
Posted August 26, 2010, by Matthew Lohry

Samantha, it looks like the bridge location is easily accessible only from the south (at least according to Google Earth). From US 59 go east on OK 83, cross the tracks, and turn left onto CR 125 (Bean Patch Loop). The road makes a 90-degree turn left, then 90 degrees back to the right (north). Go straight north, and the road turns to the right, and there should be a road going straight north at this bend. That road leads to the old bridge's south approach. Hope this helps!

Poteau River Bridge
Posted August 26, 2010, by Samantha (skplnknprkr [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Hi, I'm from Poteau, and I just can't place this bridge.. could you be more specific as to its location. I know airport road, but this isn't ringing any bells...