Over the years, five bridges have spanned Cottonwood Creek to join the east and west sides of Guthrie. From the first single log extended across the creek to the newly dedicated Mayor Jon Gumerson Memorial Bridge, the bridge represents a special connectivity for the community.
“It is a special symbol of us and our unity,” Guthrie mayor Steve Gentling said at the dedication ceremony held Tuesday afternoon. “It is a special symbol of our progress and our future.”
Following an Oklahoma tradition of naming thoroughfares and bridges to honor someone, the new bridge was dedicated to former two-term Guthrie mayor and lifelong resident, Jon Gumerson, in remembrance of his service to the community before his passing in 2012.
Oklahoma Department of Transportation Executive Director Mike Patterson presented the new bridge to the community. “We’re pleased to partner with the City of Guthrie and the community during this two-year process to bring much-needed improvements to SH-33,” Patterson said. “Designed by ODOT personnel, this bridge combines the best of modern engineering with aesthetics that complement the city’s historic beauty.
Spanning more than 1,600 feet, this 40-foot-tall project reflects the legacy that Gumerson left, according to outgoing Senator AJ Griffin. “Jon Gumerson was a bridge for this community for many years. He joined us together. He bridged the divide of service in the 70s to the 2000s.”
“Across town, we are making the old new again, and no one does it better than Guthrie,” Griffin added.
All four lanes of the bridge are expected to be fully open by the end of December. Once completed, the new speed limit will be 35 mph.