The NEW Willis Bridge Over Lake Texoma




On the drawing board for decades, the new bridge on Hwy 377/99 over Lake Texoma is finally being scheduled.


It will replace the existing Willis Bridge completed in 1960, which has its own Facebook page, by the way. See my article on LakeTexoma.com about this history of the Willis Ferry over the Red River, before the bridge was built over the lake.

The existing Willis Bridge has the distinction of being the longest Oklahoma bridge over Lake Texoma, because, according to ODOT, “The longest bridge in the state is at US-70/US-183 over the Red River in Tillman County at 5,580 feet, however, it is owned by the Texas Department of Transportation.


“Therefore, the longest state-owned bridge in Oklahoma is US-377/SH-99 over Lake Texoma/Red River (Willis Bridge) in Marshall County, at 5,426 feet.”

The Gainesville Boat Club (on the Texas side of Lake Texoma) has an 1-pg pdf posted online, and it includes interesting photos and information about Willis, Oklahoma history. Seriously, click the link and check it out because the history of Willis and the Willis Bridge will become even more precious when the new one is built,

KXII.com reported yesterday, “The current bridge is narrow, with no shoulders. It's full of potholes and hangs low, which prevents large boats from traveling underneath it.


“The proposed bridge will be 44 feet wide with two 12-foot-wide driving lanes, 10-foot-wide shoulders and sit higher than the existing bridge.


“The state and federal authorities would split the $42 million price tag.”


If you’d like to express your opinion about the proposed new bridge, here’s the contact info provided by KXII.com:


“For questions or concerns regarding the proposal, mail or email any comments you have to ODOT by March 1 to Environmental Programs Division Engineer, Oklahoma Department of Transportation, 200 NE 21st St., Oklahoma City, OK 73105, or email to [email protected]

My sources tell me the new Willis Bridge is just one of the projects that will soon spruce up the West End of Lake Texoma. In addition, Hwy 377 is scheduled to be widened to 4 lanes, and a truck stop, the first stage of the new casino, will be completed in Willis, supposedly by the end of 2016.

The last time I reported on this new casino development was in 2013, so I guess time has flown by, since we were all having fun on Lake Texoma during the droughts and the floods!




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Lake Texoma Weather Forecast

Friday

Sunny

Hi: 45

Friday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 34

Saturday

Patchy Fog

Hi: 54

Saturday Night

Mostly Cloudy

Lo: 42

Sunday

Mostly Sunny

Hi: 60

Sunday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 49

Monday

Mostly Cloudy

Hi: 63

Monday Night

Cloudy

Lo: 53


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Lake Texoma

Fishing Report from TPWD (Feb. 1)

GOOD. Water stained; 65 degrees; 0.81 feet below pool. Bird action has picked up leading the way to striped bass. Big fish are biting in 40-60 feet of water deadsticking with a splash motor or thumper. Some fish are still on structures, but the best bite has come in that deeper water. Report by John Blasingame, Adventure Texoma Outdoors. Striped bass have been great on flukes drifting in 50-60 feet of water. Fish have been suspended around 40 feet down, so keep the lure right above the fish. Darker colors on windy and cloudy days are working best. Catfish have been slow on cut shad and large baits drifting in 10-20 feet of water near the mouth of the rivers. Crappie have been slow on jigs in the little mineral arm in brush piles 20-22 feet of water. Tipping the jig with a dead minnow has been working but a lot of smaller fish. Report by Jacob Orr Lake Texoma Guaranteed Guide Service.

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