Greasy Bend Road Washita River Bridge East, Johnston Co.

Greasy Bend Road, in Johnston county crosses the Washita river twice, once near its east end and once near its west end.

This bridge, built in 1909, is a great example of turn-of-the-century practice. It was built by the Kansas City Bridge Co. at an original cost of $9,820.(according to the ODOT book "Spans of Time") It would be a great candidate for restoration and rehabilitation.

Below, is the west end of the bridge. The main span is about 145' in length, nine panels, pin connected.  The pony span is about 60' long, and is a typical pin-connected Pratt pony truss. In this picture, you can see that wire cables have taken the place of the original wooden rails.

The picture above shows how engineers dealt with the problem of one side of the river having a higher elevation that the other in the days before cuts-and-fills.

If you go here, you can see a picture of this bridge during a 1987 flood.

This bridge has also been a film star. Doug Williams of Ardmore in an email wrote to say that this bridge was used in a scene for the 1973 film Dillinger, starring Warren Oates and Ben Johnson. According to Doug, one of the Dillinger's gang members is shot off of this bridge. So, everybody go out and rent the film so you you may see this classic Oklahoma bridge's Hollywood appearence!

Below is a look at the flooring structure of the bridge. Rolled steel I's form the floor beams and heavy wooden timbers form the stringers. The stringers in the panel closest to us, with the x- bridging at their midspan, are likely original. You will find a wide variety of materials used for stringers in the other panels, such as old laced compression members from demolished bridges.

This bridge sits on concrete-filled steel piers. X-braced rods and channel struts help brace the piers.


Below, another pony-end view. The three ton weight limit sign is appropriate, and although this bridge is still sound, is not for the faint of heart. This bridge would be a great candidate for restoration and rehabilitation. Traffic is fairly light on this road.