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Route 66 Mobile Tour

Pryor Creek Bridge

Carries First Street over Pryor Creek, Southwest of Junction with State Highway 66, Chelsea vicinity

The Pryor Creek Bridge is located in Rogers County approximately a quarter of a mile east of the small town of Chelsea. This single span, modified Pratt Through Truss bridge was constructed in 1926 and carried First Street, which was part of the original alignment of US 66. A Through Truss bridge has beams bracing it above the roadway, so that vehicles travel through it as through a tunnel. This design was selected when conditions for construction required the use of long spans. The Pryor Creek Bridge is 123 feet in length, with a total width of 19 feet and a curb-to-curb with of 18 feet. The defining features of a Pratt Truss are a top cord that is flat extending below the topmost beam, vertical beams that carry compressive (pushed together) forces, and diagonal beams that carry tensile (pulled apart) forces. Early Pratt Trusses in Oklahoma were lightweight, their main junctures were pin-connected, and they were most often built by bridge companies for county commissioners throughout the state. By the 1920s, the increase in automobile traffic and the need for heavier bridges to carry the greater loads resulted in changes in bridge design. The Pryor Creek Bridge carried Route 66 traffic until 1932.