The owners of Molly’s Landing contracted with Manhattan Road and Bridge, along with Oklahoma Department of Transportation, to have the section of the old bridge moved to their property.
It’s now part of the landscaping at their restaurant which is just off the Verdigris River.
It’s more than just landscaping. Two sections of the 1936 bridge that once carried westbound Route 66 now comprise the main entrance to the restaurant.
Here are photos today of the relocated portions of the bridge at Molly’s:
Procuring part of the doomed bridge happened “very quickly” over a two-month period, said Molly’s Landing general manager Russ White in a telephone interview.
He said the initial idea to put parts of the bridge on the restaurant’s entrance came from Linda Powell, original owner of the restaurant. White said he had to work with several agencies, among them the City of Catoosa and the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, to make the plan work. Even so, it wasn’t known whether the plan would come to fruition until several weeks ago.
You also can see several photos of the bridge sections being moved at the Facebook page of the restaurant.
“Now we have several people day driving through the entrance just to snap pictures,” White said. “We’re seeing a lot of people slowing down, coming through at 2 miles per hour just to look at it. I’m seeing a lot of smiles.”
The biggest bridge section can be easily seen from nearby Oklahoma Highway 66, especially from the westbound direction.
White said the bridge-entranceway project isn’t finished. Other work needs to be done, including repainting of the old sections.
White wouldn’t reveal the cost to the restaurant to relocate portions of the bridge, but acknowledged it was in the “five-digit” range.
Another portion of the old Bird Creek Bridge will be relocated to a city park that’s adjacent to the old bridge site.