Historic Route 66 Bridge Reclaimed from Brush

Friday, August 14th 2009, 4:13 pm
By: News On 6

Chris Howell NewsOn6.com

SAPULPA---Today volunteer work crews cleaned up the undergrowth and trees which had been obscuring a historic bridge on old Route 66 just west of Sapulpa.

Doris Yocham is Director of the Sapulpa Historical Museum, and has fond memories of the bridge.

‘I was born here 83 years ago, it was part of my life as a child,' said Doris, ‘during the war years we lived west of town and had to travel over this bridge twice a day. When you remember that this was part of Route 66, thousands of people crossed this bridge on their way to California.'

Route 66 now travels a bit to the south of the old bridge, but many of the town's residents still rely on the bridge built in 1921. It is due to be retired when a road and a new bridge are built. Still, the bridge has historic value as the only remaining brick-decked bridge on Route 66.

‘We hope to preserve this historic bridge and maybe have a pedestrian bridge out of it or something like that,' said Doris.

Rich Hendler is the President of the Oklahoma Vegetation Management Association, and says the project started by chance.

‘I was in Tulsa for a board meeting and saw an ad in one of the local magazines in my hotel room about the Route 66 Association, made a call to see if there was something we could do to help their association, and the project got started,' said Rich.

Members of the OKVMA, PSO, OG&E and Northeast Rural Services volunteered some of their tree crews to help clear the vegetation around the bridge.

Doris is happy to see the bridge she treasures emerge from the overgrown vegetation.

‘I like to preserve the history of our town, we have a colorful history,' said Doris, ‘this bridge has seen most of our history.'