Historic bridges have been a common theme over many Endangered Places lists. The combination of interesting structural components and architectural details make them recognizable landmarks for locals and travelers using them, but constant changes in safety requirements and vehicular needs threaten to make historic bridges obsolete. These risks are compounded as the status of bridges and highways changes, and responsibility for maintenance shifts or becomes unclear, leaving the structures to fall into ruin. Determined eligible for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation survey publication “Spans of Time,” this one-lane bridge was constructed in 1929 by Western Construction to carry old State Highway 62 over the Red River. The bridge had continuous use as a highway thoroughfare until the new Highway 62 bypassed it in 1970, when it was reverted to a county road.
In late 2009, the bridge failed to meet safety regulations and, without the funding to make necessary repairs, was closed to traffic. The bridge has not had any significant maintenance in decades and is in serious danger of being lost to neglect. (Photo by Wes Kinsler)