These guides are being compiled so that others interested in seeing these bridges for themselves can go and find them easily. Apparently, the 2002 National Bridge Inventory (NBI) list was the last year to be put online for the general populace. However, before it was taken off-line, I was able to print out a copy showing only truss bridges to use as a guide for finding and photographing bridges.
Information presented here in these guides are compiled from the 2002 National Bridge inventory list and the 1993 publication Spans of Time by Joseph E. King, Center for Historic Preservation & Technology at Texas Tech University. This work has the advantage of breaking down the bridges by type of truss, as well as listing builders which will be found on a different page.
How to Locate a Bridge Using the Guides
Finding a bridge using the guides and an atlas such as The Roads of Oklahoma Shearer Publishing (406 Post Oak Road; Fredericksburg, Texas, 78634), or DeLorme’s Oklahoma Atlas and Gazetteer is an easy task. Every bridge has a structure number, abbreviated as “STRNUM” in the tables; and if you look at the roads in the atlas, you will find all road that run north-south have a name such as NS430 RD (N4300 RD in the Gazetteer), and all east-west roads have a name such as EW58 RD (E0580 RD in the Gazetteer). All north-south roads are numbered sequentially from west to east, starting with the road on the Oklahoma-New Mexico state line, which is NS1 RD (N0010 RD in the Gazetteer). The north-south road 1 mile east is NS2 RD (NS0020 RD in the Gazetteer). East-west roads are numbered in the same manner starting with EW1 RD (E0010 RD) on the Kansas-Oklahoma State line. Both Atlases handle roads between mile section line roads the same. For example, an east-west road 0.8 miles south of EW2 RD (E0020 RD) will be shown as E0028 RD.
So, what does this have to do with a bridge’s structure number? If you look at a bridge’s structure number, you will see that it works like an address. For example, bridge 09E0900N2850005. The first two digits, 09, identify the county, numbered 01 to 77 when arranged alphabetically. This example is in Canadian County. The next part, E0900 is the road that the bridge is on, which in this case is EW90 RD (E0900 RD). The remainder says where on EW90 RD the bridge is on, starting with the nearest intersecting road back (towards the origin road), which in this case is NS285 RD (N2850 RD). The last digit, 5 in this example, is how many tenths of a mile form the intersection the bridge is. In this case the bridge is on EW90 RD ½ mile east of NS285 RD in Canadian County.
In addition to the structure number, descriptive locations are given as they are written by the ODOT employees who inspect the bridge. Notice that bridges on highways use a unique numbering system.
To download the Microsoft Word files, right click on the document link and select "save target as."
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Last updated March 13, 2008