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96th Street Bridge

96th Street Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: June 8, 2016

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
96th Street Over Bird Creek
Rural: Tulsa County, Oklahoma: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
By Builder/Contractor: Unknown

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
148 Feet (45.1 Meters)
Structure Length
303 Feet (92.2 Meters)
Roadway Width
20 Feet (6.1 Meters)
2 Main Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

View Archived National Bridge Inventory Report - Has Additional Details and Evaluation

This bridge is an impressive two-span pin-connected through truss. Site evidence as well as the given construction date for this bridge (1936) in the National Bridge Inventory indicate this bridge was relocated here (likely in 1936) and when it was, the bridge was widened as well, as evidenced by spliced details at the center of each portal brace and sway brace. The floorbeams, which appear to be original from the previous location, are also spliced and widened. The deck stringers also appear to be original, apparently sufficient for the bridge even after it was widened.

Research failed to identify where this bridge actually came from. The Oklahoma Bridges website suspects this bridge was originally a railroad bridge. At first casual glance this seems unrealistic, as the members, while massive for a pin-connected highway truss, are not as massive as most pin-connected railroad truss bridges. However, the bridge's use of riveted built-up deck stringers, as well as the use of four eyebars instead of two for each section of lower chord are more typical of railroad bridges, as are the crash bars for the end posts. Perhaps this bridge was originally for a lighter railroad usage, such as an interurban line, or a siding, etc. It doesn't have the mass of a typical mainline freight railroad bridge.

Because the alterations made to widen the bridge are riveted in design it is clear that the widening project occured long ago likely when the bridge was first moved here. The 1936 date given for the construction of this bridge, if accurate, likely refers to the erection of this bridge in this location. The trusses of this bridge are likely much older. The bridge has angles on it with the Oliver Steel name on them. Oliver is one of the rarest company names to find on bridges in North America, and to date has only been seen on angle. Only a couple bridges bearing the Oliver name are dated, one to 1888 and one to 1891. Perhaps this bridge also was originally fabricated and erected in its original location around this time as well. The bridge almost certainly dates to somewhere in the the late 1880s

The bridge is historically and technologically significant as a historical relocation and reuse of a metal truss bridge. It also appears to be a rare example of a 19th Century railroad bridge in Oklahoma. Despite relocation and widening, the truss lines themselves are largely unaltered, and still convey the design and materials of a likely 19th Century truss bridge.


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