Old Highway 78 demolished, new bridge days away from completion

Published: Apr. 6, 2021 at 9:37 PM CDT
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(KXII) -Just days away from completion of the new Highway 78 bridge, the historic 83-year-old Highway 78 bridge over the Red River connecting Fannin County and Bryan County was demolished.

Three warning horns were sent out, followed by a charge that sent the 2100 foot bridge into pieces.

There was a concrete crew on the Texas and Oklahoma side of the highway, a bridge construction company and a demolition company on hand.

“You’ll see the pillars drop as well as the rest of the tressel that’s over the other side of the Oklahoma side bank and it’s going to fall to the west onto the land,” said Fannin County Emergency Manager Troy Hudson who was on sight to assist the Texas Department of Transportation as well as the Oklahoma Highway Commission in case anything didn’t go according to plan.

Durrie Caldwell and his wife own a cabin off Highway 78 with a birds-eye view of what is now the new bridge.

“We didn’t want to lose it but they’re going to take it down,” Caldwell said. “It’s old like me, I mean it’s beautiful. I’m not beautiful but it’s old and I like old things like that and I’d like to have that old bridge at my house or something.”

The new bridge was opened to traffic last month and is about 50 feet longer and 12 feet lower than the old bridge. Hudson could not confirm why the new bridge is lower than the original.

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