U.S. 166 bridge replacement over the Arkansas River in Arkansas City

  • Original bridge
    The U.S. 166 bridge over the Arkansas River in Arkansas City was built in 1937. It was the narrowest section of U.S. 166, limiting the size of truck traffic. Work to replace the bridge began Nov. 29, 2018.
  • Potholes
    The official detour for this project is on the state highway system.
  • U.S. 166 bridge
    The new bridge, when complete, will be 44 feet wide, double the original width.
  • U.S. 166 bridge
    Working in a river poses challenges, but so far, the project is ahead of schedule. A.M. Cohron & Son Inc. of Atlantic, Iowa, is the primary contractor for the $6,368,390 project.
  • U.S. 166 bridge replacement project
    The contractor is optimistic that work will conclude in November. However, that is not a guarantee. Please stay updated by visiting this site regularly.

Fast Facts

KDOT has replaced the U.S. 166 bridge over the Arkansas River in Arkansas City with a new structure.

Some facts about the project:

  • • The old bridge was built in 1937. 

  • • The bridge was one of the narrowest areas on U.S. 166, which was limiting to some oversize loads.

  • • The old bridge was 22 feet. The new bridge is 44 feet wide. 

  • • Work began Nov. 29, 2018.

  • • A.M. Cohron & Son Inc. of Atlantic, Iowa, which has an office in Emporia, was the primary contractor for the $6,368,390 project.


To view the project contract, click here.

Detour Details

The official detour that had been used before the bridge opened, seen below and on slide two above, was on the state highway system. 

U.S. 166 bridge detour

Questions or comments?

Please call Public Affairs Manager Tim Potter, 620-860-7389, or email at Tim.Potter@ks.gov.

Thank you for your interest in this important project in Cowley County. 

Dec. 19 Update

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.

Drone Zone

Want to see drone footage of this project and others? Visit Area Three Engineer AJ Wilson's YouTube page

Photo album

Interested in more photos? Click around a photo album of the project.

Media coverage

KAKE's Lily Wu came out to see the project in February. View her report here.