Tuesday, December 15, 2009

US Highway 66 over the Arkansas River, 1915-1916

West Bank Looking toward the North East, 1917

East Bank Looking toward the North West, 1936

West Bank Looking Toward the South East, 2009

Tulsa's 11th Street Bridge over the Arkansas River is a good example of a multi-span concrete arch bridge with verticals. It is a continuous span constructed of reinforced concrete. The roadway decking and guardrails are monolithic. It was altered in 1929 and has ornate guardrails that utilize Art Deco motifs, especially the Zigzag Art Deco and PWA Classical-oriented Art Deco. Its roadbed is 34 feet wide and it was labor intensive to build, reflecting a technology and aesthetic approach to bridge construction no longer in use.

The current state of disrepair of the old bridge make it unsafe even for foot traffic. It has been named an historic site and plans exist to restore it and make it the centerpiece of a Route 66 Center. However because of the expense involved those plans are on hold for the time being.

This bridge is sandwiched in on the North by the Redfork Expressway (I244) and on the South by Southwest Boulevard. It it difficult to photograph except from either end looking between the old bridge and I244.
(Excerpted from Tulsa Preservation Committee. Older photo courtesy of the Beryl Ford Collection/Rotary Club of Tulsa, Tulsa City-County Library and Tulsa Historical Society.)


  1. It's a handsome bridge. It will be nice to get it repaired. As it is it just sits with a nice new paved surface that nobody can use.

    Looking at the refinery and the thick dark smoke in the background of one of the pictures all I can say is thank goodness for pollution laws.

  2. thanks for those images. i came across a comment you made relating to milk delivery on another blog.

  3. TG, you have some intriguing stuff here. Hopefully funds will become available for a renovation. The only portions of Route 66 I've visited/crossed are in New Mexico. I'd like to follow its length at some point.

  4. I believe the photos of the old US Hwy 66 bridge are mislabled. The photo with the caption "West Bank Looking Toward the South East 2009" is actually the west bank looking NORTHeast (toward downtown Tulsa). Also, the "East Bank Looking North West 1936" is actually the east bank looking SOUTHwest (toward the Sun Oil refinery (Holly Refinery now I guess)).

    Anyway, if I'm incorrect I apologize, but I think I'm right.

    Thank you for sharing your photos.

    Mike Lavelle
    Tulsa, OK

  5. My dad will love this site. He was born in Tulsa in 1922. Going to have to share it with him. He remembers Tulsa in the 20s like it was yesterday!


  6. good topic thanks for post for sharing on website ..

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