New bridge could be used in place of historic Carpenters Bluff Bridge

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GRAYSON AND BRYAN COUNTIES - Grayson and Bryan Counties have entered into an agreement with TxDOT and ODOT to build a new bridge over the red river. Once built, it can be used in place of the one-lane historic Carpenters Bluff Bridge.

The one-lane Carpenters Bluff Bridge, connecting Texas and Oklahoma is unlike other bridges that cross the Red River.

"You have to wait for someone to come across before you can cross," said Grayson County commissioner David Whitlock.

The bridge is more than 100 years old. Now, the Oklahoma and Texas Departments of Transportation are splitting the cost of construction for a new bridge to connect Grayson and Bryan counties in a new location nearby.

Grayson county commissioner David Whitlock says It will be west of the old carpenters bluff bridge. In order to receive state funding for the project, Bryan and Grayson counties signed a resolution, giving one half ownership of the bridge to each county. ODOT and TxDOT will split the estimated $6 million construction cost.

Grayson county commissioners say nothing is going to happen to the old Carpenters Bluff Bridge, as it's a Texas historical landmark, but residents we talked to say, to them, it's even more than that.

"For as long as I can remember I used to walk across it," Catrina Raines owns the Carpenters Bluff Junction store right by the bridge. She says when they put pictures of the old structure on facebook, "Everyone had a story to tell, about the bridge."

Raines believes the old bridge will continue to be an attraction for both residents and tourists alike. A construction date is not set for the new bridge yet -- Bryan county will be responsible for ongoing maintenance of the bridge when its completed.

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