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Rock Creek Bridge may reopen in next month June 8, 2014

Posted by Ron Warnick in Bridges, Highways, History, Preservation.
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The historic Rock Creek Bridge, which has been closed to traffic since March 2013, may reopen to lighter vehicles sometime next month, according to a city official in nearby Sapulpa, Oklahoma.

Suzanne Shirey, president of the Sapulpa Area Chamber of Commerce, revealed the plans for the 1921 bridge during an email a few days ago:

We are looking to open the bridge in mid July.  We will have to build barriers to restrict vehicles over 3 ton from entering.  These barriers will be away from the bridge so they will not obstruct the view for photos.

It will be interesting to see the eventual layout of the new barriers. With a three-ton limit, that would allow all motorcycles, almost all cars and most pickup trucks.

A state inspection last spring deemed the bridge unsafe for all traffic, and local officials placed barriers and big chunks of concrete to keep people from driving on it. Pedestrians could walk around the barriers to the bridge, however.

Follow-up questions about the bridge weren’t answered. But Shirey made it clear the bridge will be at least partly reopened by mid-summer.

The Rock Creek Bridge served Route 66 from 1926 until 1952, when officials realigned the highway to the south. The Rock Creek Bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Currently, the only way to reach the 3.5-mile stretch of the original Ozark Trail alignment of Route 66 is several miles west, near a Shell gas station. Don’t count on driving through the parking lot of the VFW hall near the bridge; access to the Ozark Trail is often blocked by a gate.

Here’s a video we produced a couple of years ago, before the bridge was closed:

(Image of the Rock Creek Bridge by David Sugden via Flickr)

Comments»

1. Klaas van der Heide - June 8, 2014

Been there too. Saw the bridge and what is next to it. Love your news. It brings me back to riding my dream Route 66.

2. Susan Yates - June 8, 2014

Your video is beautifully done, Ron. I enjoyed the ride.

3. this man - June 8, 2014

On a vaguely related note – that of things that have been shut down – does anyone know when the Glass House McDonald’s on the Will Rogers Turnpike near Vinita will reopen from its current renovation?

4. KW - June 24, 2014

We were there today (June 24th) and there was still a pile of rubble at either end of the bridge; great stretch of road leading up to it, though. Anyone know the status of the Tee-Pee Drive-In Theater? Our 66 app said a man had bought it and hoped to have it up and running by 2012 (!), but it sure didn’t look like anything was going on.

KW - June 24, 2014

Never mind about the Tee-Pee, I just found this:
http://route66news.com/2012/06/18/who-is-the-teepee-drive-ins-new-operator/
Wow.


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