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Author Topic: Webbers Falls Bridge  (Read 3533 times)

austrini

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Webbers Falls Bridge
« on: May 23, 2009, 09:53:16 AM »

About a month ago I drove from Dallas to Fayetteville, Ark. and ended up going over the Webbers Falls Bridge on I-40. I went that way on purpose because I had wanted to see it, and I noticed that it looks ... well... crappy. There is some concrete that has shifted and been patched and a few asphalt patches and fixes as well. I wonder if that is the old part of the bridge only, though. I had been expecting something really strong and new looking like the photos of the new I-35W bridge in Minnesota.

Did they completely rebuild the bridge after it got knocked down? Did they just rebuild a portion of it?
I also thought there would be some kind of sign noting that it was *that* bridge but I didnt notice anything. I'm just curious about its status, if anyone knows.
Photo of it below, taken in late April.

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Scott5114

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Re: Webbers Falls Bridge
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2009, 12:53:28 PM »

I went that way on purpose because I had wanted to see it, and I noticed that it looks ... well... crappy.

Welcome to Oklahoma!  :)

Did they completely rebuild the bridge after it got knocked down? Did they just rebuild a portion of it?

I believe that they merely rebuilt the portion that got knocked into the river. The rest of the structure was sound. The big priority here was to get I-40 open again as soon as possible, as the detour onto OK-100 and US-64 was severely impacting businesses in the towns of Gore and Webbers Falls—the roads were so busy with I-40 traffic nobody wanted to get out and shop there.

FHWA was actually impressed with ODOT for how quickly they rebuilt the bridge and got the Interstate open again, and either the Administrator or the USDOT Secretary said as much in a press conference.
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Greybear

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Re: Webbers Falls Bridge
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2009, 01:31:24 PM »

I may be wrong here, but I believe that the entire bridge was re-built.
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Scott5114

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Re: Webbers Falls Bridge
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2009, 02:19:27 PM »

I wouldn't see why they would do that—the only reason the bridge collapsed was because of the barge hitting one of the center supports. One would think that the only portion that would need to be rebuilt is that center support and the spans that fell into the river.
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austrini

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Re: Webbers Falls Bridge
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2009, 05:21:37 PM »

I've always harbored a bit of wariness about Oklahoma's roads because as a kid the pavement went from awesome to chunky whenever you went over the Red River. I think it just happened to be where I crossed usually though, at US 69/75.

I think I had just imagined it would be a fancy new bridge like in Minnesota, but I suppose the circumstances were different. Right before I went over it I was on the ramp from US 69 NB to I-40 EB and I thought I had a flat tire because of the noise and motion the pavement was giving my car... my friend made us pull over to look. Then I said "ah, Oklahoma"

I'm not totally dissing OK Roads, there is some awesome stuff there. I was just a bit curious about the history of that bridge! I hope they put up a sign or something one day.
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Scott5114

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Re: Webbers Falls Bridge
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2009, 06:36:42 PM »

Right before I went over it I was on the ramp from US 69 NB to I-40 EB and I thought I had a flat tire because of the noise and motion the pavement was giving my car... my friend made us pull over to look. Then I said "ah, Oklahoma"

That has totally happened to me once. I was taking a friend of mine to church camp one summer and she was quite concerned there was something wrong with the car as we were headed south on I-35. Instead of stopping I decided to cut over to US 177 and see if that fixed the problem. Yep.

I'm not totally dissing OK Roads...

I am!
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bugo

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Re: Webbers Falls Bridge
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2009, 12:37:40 AM »

Did they completely rebuild the bridge after it got knocked down? Did they just rebuild a portion of it?

I believe that they merely rebuilt the portion that got knocked into the river. The rest of the structure was sound. The big priority here was to get I-40 open again as soon as possible, as the detour onto OK-100 and US-64 was severely impacting businesses in the towns of Gore and Webbers Falls—the roads were so busy with I-40 traffic nobody wanted to get out and shop there.

You are correct.  You can tell which spans were rebuilt if you look closely.  They are towards the western end of the bridge.

And yes, that bridge has a very uneven surface.
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Hellfighter

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Re: Webbers Falls Bridge
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2009, 09:28:27 PM »

Looks like what happens in Michigan!  :-P
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TheHighwayMan394

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Re: Webbers Falls Bridge
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2009, 12:02:45 AM »

Was this the bridge that got partially knocked down by a barge?
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Alex

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Re: Webbers Falls Bridge
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2009, 12:25:33 AM »

Yes, the bridge was struck on May 26, 2002 by two barges. 14 died in the accident.

The bridge was reopened by July 29. Read more on the I-40 Interstate Guide.
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US71

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Re: Webbers Falls Bridge
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2009, 07:07:31 PM »


You are correct.  You can tell which spans were rebuilt if you look closely.  They are towards the western end of the bridge.


Watch the rails closely, as well: one or two still have a bit of a bend in them from the accident.
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