Ok, so I’m going to level with you. I wanted to write a whole post about just this bridge.

Canadian River Bridge

38, count them, thirty-eight glorious spans! It’s almost 4,000 feet long! It absolutely took my breath away. I forgive you if you don’t share my enthusiasm.

Canadian River Bridge

It’s officially known as the William H. Murray Bridge, but I guess the locals call it the Yellow Bridge, for obvious reasons. It was built in 1933. It carries US 281 (formerly US 66) over the South Canadian River.

Canadian River Bridge

Annnnnnnnnd… well, that’s all I can say about it. Well, there is one more thing. As I was taking pictures here, a passing state trooper slowed way down and looked at me like I was nuts. Ah, the slings and arrows we bridgefans suffer.

Fortunately, we also crossed several other great Route 66 bridges. Like this one that crosses the Big Piney River at Devil’s Elbow, Missouri.

Bridge at Devil's Elbow

It’s on a twisty and pretty old alignment of the road.

Bridge at Devil's Elbow

This bridge was built in 1923, too. It’s near the little town of Spencer, Missouri. Route 66 was rerouted nearby in 1960.

Spencer bridge

In Kansas, this 1923 Marsh arch bridge is known as the Rainbow Bridge. Even though another bridge was built alongside it in 1992 to carry Route 66 traffic, this bridge is still open to traffic for nostalgia’s sake.

Rainbow Bridge

It’s only open in one direction though, and not the one I was facing when I took this shot.

Rainbow Bridge

This 1924 bridge carries an old alignment of Route 66 just west of Oklahoma City. A restoration was completed in 2011.

Old 66 bridge

Every old bridge on Route 66 probably gets an extra chance to live just because it’s associated with the Mother Road. I say right on!

I love old truss bridges. They’re art in steel.

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15 responses to “Great bridges on Route 66”

  1. Mark Avatar

    Wonderful stuff, Jim. I think having an address that was “Devil’s Elbow” would be awesome. Imagine the call-in shows… Anyhow, it looks like you had a lot of fun. Keep them coming!

    1. Jim Avatar

      I’ve got a few more Route 66 posts up my sleeve!

  2. Lone Primate Avatar
    Lone Primate

    Oh! I am so jealous of that first bridge in particular. But I like all of them… it’s a real parcel of tradition there. The best part is that they all still seem to be going concerns! And you’ve got a record of them as such. I genuflect and bow my head. :)

    1. Jim Avatar

      The yellow bridge is just awesome. If we weren’t already pretty tired, I’d have driven over it two or three more times just because!

  3. pesoto74 Avatar

    Some great bridges. This got me to thinking of the Chain of Rocks Bridge near St Louis. It wasn’t on the main route. I think it was on the Route 66 that bypassed St Louis. I remember that bridge scared me like no other when I was a kid. It is the only one over the Mississippi that makes a bend in the middle. It also was pretty narrow. It has been closed to road traffic for a long time, however it has been saved as a walking bridge. Definitely worth making the side trip the next time you are on route 66.

    1. Jim Avatar

      I really wanted to walk the Chain of Rocks bridge with my sons. It would have been so cool to cross the Mississippi that way. But there are reports of problems at both ends of the bridge with thieves smashing windows on parked cars and grabbing what they can. So I decided to skip it. We also skipped the alignments through StL and just drove around on 270. Fortunately, that gave us a good view of the bent bridge as we crossed the Mississippi. I can well imagine that that narrow bridge seemed a little scary when you crossed it by car.

  4. ryoko861 Avatar

    Hey, do you like bridges, Jim? Really, you should enjoy them more!! LOL!
    These are great! There’s a cool bridge in Narrowsburg, NY just outside Shohola, PA that I want to get a picture of. It’s part of the old aqueduct.
    My favorite is the Rainbow bridge! Quaint! What did the boys think of all your bridge picture taking?

    1. Jim Avatar

      The boys know Dad is a bridgefan and they tolerate it! They do get out and look at some of the bridges but they wear out on it after a while. I’m glad they didn’t want to get out and look at the yellow bridge, because traffic was barreling by at 60+ mph. It was a little frightening when I got passed by a semi while standing on the edge of the road.

  5. Carole Avatar

    Really neat, Jim. What a testamony to man-kinds need to get to the other side!

    1. Jim Avatar

      Today so many bridges are simple slabs. I wish they built more modern truss bridges!

  6. kiwiskan Avatar

    Great bridges!

    1. Jim Avatar

      Yes they are!

  7. Dawn Avatar

    Love that yellow bridge! That’s amazing. I love snapping photos of different types of architecture, too. I used to live in Boone, Iowa, where the huge Kate Shelley Bridge is. It’s daunting and mesmerizing. And I’m glad to see that everything here is from Route 66–I would love to drive the entire thing someday.

    1. Jim Avatar

      Route 66 is calling… calling… calling!

  8. The Rider Avatar

    Thanks for showing- it is on my Bucket LIst one day…

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