Flooding Destroys One Of Oklahoma's Oldest Bridges

Friday, June 19th 2015, 12:08 pm
By: Richard Clark

Floodwater swept away one of Oklahoma's oldest bridges Thursday night.

The Norton Road Bridge spanned the Washita River just north Mannsville in Johnston County for 106 years. The river washed it away at about 9:45 p.m. on June 18, 2015.

According to records from the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, the bridge was built by the Kansas City Bridge Company in 1909.

Located a few miles west of Tishomingo, the bridge was a mixed truss design, a type that was common in Oklahoma at the beginning of the 20th century. It was also known as the Greasy Bend Bridge and the Mannsville Bridge.

"It was a real, historic old bridge. One of my favorite bridges," said Jason Bryant, Emergency Management Director for Johnston County. 

Bryant said he'd taken many family photographs at the bridge and was as sad as anyone else that it was gone. It was used in the movie "Dillinger" which was shot in 1973, he said.

He said the Washita River was still rising Friday morning so the county had not been able to assess all the damage yet, but he said the bridge is a total loss.

A firefighter was checking the bridge Thursday night when it collapsed. 

It had been closed to vehicles since 2008, when a piece of heavy equipment broke through the wooden deck. 

According to Oklahomahistory.net, the bridge had been restricted to a 3-ton weight limit when the vehicle damaged it in 2008.