InTrans / Aug 14, 2018

Spans of Time: Oklahoma Historic Highway Bridges

Having what it believed were approximately 1,800 bridges with potential historical value on its streets and roads, Oklahoma initiated this project to survey, research, and assess these spans. Fundamental information about the state’s early bridges would be gathered by survey, subsequently making it possible to:
*evaluate individual bridges in relation to the overall transportation history of the state,
*determine the number and condition of bridges by type and permit appropriate comparisons to be made,
*focus on those structures which may be worthy for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) and develop plans for their management, and
*remove from further consideration those bridges that do not meet the requirements for eligibility to the National Register.

The project confined the study to structures over 20 feet in span and built prior to 1955. Adopting a 1955 cutoff date, rather than the more typical 50 years old standard of the NRHP, gives greater longevity to the project before revisions become necessary. Under an agreement between the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the Oklahoma State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), the project was limited to evaluating structures in the following eight general categories.

Steel Arches
Steel Through Trusses
Steel Pony Trusses
Steel Deck Trusses
Suspension Spans
Concrete Deck Arches
Stone Arches
Concrete Through Arches