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Iconic Oklahoma Route 66 bridge reopens following upgrades

The Bridgeport Pony Bridge officially reopened to traffic Friday, May 10, 2024 after an 18-month reconstruction project to modernize the structure.
Oklahoma Route 66 Association
The Bridgeport Pony Bridge officially reopened to traffic Friday, May 10, 2024 after an 18-month reconstruction project to modernize the structure.

An iconic bridge along historic Route 66 in Oklahoma has reopened to traffic.

State and transportation officials held a ribbon cutting ceremony marking the completion of the $35 million reconstruction project of the William H. Murray Bridge, also known as the Bridgeport Pony Bridge in Caddo County.

Friday’s ceremony brought in scores of classic car enthusiasts and out-of-state travelers commemorating the occasion with an official First Crossing.

Cars line up along the newly opened Bridgeport Pony Bridge on Friday, May 10, 2024.
Oklahoma Route 66 Association
Cars line up along the newly opened Bridgeport Pony Bridge on Friday, May 10, 2024.

For the past 18 months, construction crews worked to modernize and widen the bridge over the South Canadian River, all while taking care to maintain its timeless look. According to the Oklahoma Route 66 Association, the iconic pony trusses were removed, rehabilitated and re-attached to a modern bridge deck.

Additionally, a new scenic turnout was built on the side of the bridge.

The original Pony Bridge was built in 1933. Because the river it spanned was known for being unpredictable and shifted regularly, an extra-long bridge was needed, according to the association. The completed bridge was 3,944 feet long and consisted of 38 Camelback pony trusses.

The bridge was also featured in the film The Grapes of Wrath.

Nyk has worked in radio since 2011 serving as a board operator, on-air announcer and production director for commercial radio stations in Iowa. Originally from the Quad Cities area, Nyk joined KGOU in 2018 as a practicum student studying Creative Media Production at OU. Upon graduating the following year, he became part of KGOU’s staff and is now the local Morning Edition host. When not on the air, Nyk likes to read, listen to music and follow news about the radio industry.