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Route 66 Mobile Tour

Little Deep Fork Creek Bridge

.33 mile East of Junction of County Roads #E0830 & #N3700, Bristow vicinity




Built in 1914, the bridge over Little Deep Fork Creek is a rare, surviving example of the Bedstead type bridge and is historically significant for its association with the Ozark Trail, as well as with Route 66. The Ozark Trail Association, a private organization that promoted the improvement of roads, officially designated the section of road that includes the bridge as part of its system in 1915. Then, in 1926, the U.S. Bureau of Public Roads designated a national highway system, which incorporated existing road systems. Thus, sections of the Ozark Trail in Oklahoma, including the Little Deep Fork Creek Bridge, became part of the new U. S. 66. The bridge is a simple structure, and its skeletal appearance belies its engineering finesse and distinctive features. From the streambed, steel piers rise to form part of the truss structure, giving the appearance of a bedstead with the two sides of the bridge representing the head and foot of the bed. The piers are the critical and defining element of the bridge. They consist of four steel beams sunk deep into the shoulders of the stream banks. Through a system of triangular trusses organized in rectangular units. The piers form the end of not only the trusses but of the bridge itself and thereby making the bridge essentially self-supporting.