ARKANSAS CITY, Kan. – A bigger and better U.S. 166 bridge over the Arkansas River opened at Arkansas City on Thursday, Dec. 19. It replaces a bridge built in 1937 that was 20 feet narrower than the new bridge, which is 44 feet wide including shoulders. The new bridge also will be able to handle oversize loads better.

The new structure is built with more than 2 million tons of steel and more than 3,000 cubic yards of concrete. KDOT appreciates the patience of motorists who had to use other routes after the old bridge was demolished and while the new bridge was constructed. During the project, crews had to work around repeated flooding on and near the river, starting in December 2018 and then again in May of 2019. “Through it all, work never stopped,” said Engineering Technician Specialist Robin Gregory, who oversaw the project for KDOT at the site. The new bridge is a steel-beam-supported structure, with nine piers across the river and set into bedrock.

The bridge was built under a $6,368,390 contract. The main contractor was A.M. Cohron & Son Inc., based in Atlantic, Iowa, with an office in Emporia.