Skip to main content

South Canadian River Pony Truss Bridge - US 66 Oklahoma


One of Oklahoma's storied bridges - the Pony Truss Bridge over the South Canadain River is a US 66 landmark.  Officially known as the William H. Murray bridge, the over 3,900-foot-long bridge consists of 38 100-foot-long Warren Trusses.

The distinctive pony trusses of the William H. Murray Bridge.

Bridge construction started in 1932 and finished in 1933.  The following year, a re-aligned US 66 was routed over the span.  The new bridge and highway alignment allowed 66 to bypass the towns of Bridgeport, Geary, and Calumet.  Before 1934, US 66 crossed the South Canadian over the "Key Bridge," a suspension bridge that carried a toll until 1930.  

The 25-foot wide bridge carried US 66 until Interstate 40 opened to the south in the late-1950s.  Today, US 281 utilizes the Pony Bridge over the river.  In 2022, the bridge closed for a total rehabilitation project.  The bridge will be widened from 25 feet to accommodate modern traffic.  However, the distinctive trusses will be reinstalled, keeping the bridge's character.

The Pony Truss bridge is also a memorable site in John Steinbeck's novel, The Grapes of Wrath.  It was near the bridge where Grandpa Joad passed away and was then buried.  The Pony Bridge is shown in the 1940 film adaptation of the classic. 

All photos taken by post author - April 2010.

Site Navigation:

Sources & Links:

How To Get There:




Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Sunshine Bridge (Donaldsonville, LA)

Located about halfway between Baton Rouge and New Orleans in southern Louisiana, the Sunshine Bridge spans the lower Mississippi River near the city of Donaldsonville as part of the longer Louisiana Highway 70 corridor, which connects Interstate 10 and Airline Highway (US 61) with US 90 in Morgan City. In the years following World War II, the only bridges across the lower Mississippi River in Louisiana were located in the area of the state’s two largest cities – Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Postwar agricultural and industrial development along the river in this region led to the planning of a series of infrastructure projects in southern Louisiana that were aimed at spurring this development and modernization of the Delta region. One of these projects was known as the Acadian Thruway and was developed in the 1950s as a toll road intended to connect greater New Orleans with Lafayette and points west while providing a high-speed bypass of the Baton Rouge metro area. The Thruway, which

Old River Lock & Control Structure (Lettsworth, LA)

  The Old River Control Structure (ORCS) and its connecting satellite facilities combine to form one of the most impressive flood control complexes in North America. Located along the west bank of the Mississippi River near the confluence with the Red River and Atchafalaya River nearby, this structure system was fundamentally made possible by the Flood Control Act of 1928 that was passed by the United States Congress in the aftermath of the Great Mississippi River Flood of 1927 however a second, less obvious motivation influenced the construction here. The Mississippi River’s channel has gradually elongated and meandered in the area over the centuries, creating new oxbows and sandbars that made navigation of the river challenging and time-consuming through the steamboat era of the 1800s. This treacherous area of the river known as “Turnbull’s Bend” was where the mouth of the Red River was located that the upriver end of the bend and the Atchafalaya River, then effectively an outflow

Natchez-Vidalia Bridge (Natchez, MS)

  Located about halfway between Baton Rouge and Vicksburg near the city of Natchez, the Natchez-Vidalia Bridge crosses the lower Mississippi River between southwest Mississippi and northeastern Louisiana at the city of Vidalia. This river crossing is a dual span, which creates an interesting visual effect that is atypical on the Mississippi River in general. Construction on the original bridge took place in the late 1930s in conjunction with a much larger parallel effort by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to strengthen the area’s flood protection and levee system along the Mississippi River. One of the more ambitious aspects of this plan was to relocate the city of Vidalia to a location of higher ground about one mile downriver from the original settlement. The redirection of the river through the Natchez Gorge (which necessitated the relocation of the town) and the reconstruction of the river’s levee system in the area were undertaken in the aftermath of the Great Flood of 1927, wh