Work has progressed on a major bridge replacement project just west of Arkansas City, that has affected travel in both Cowley and Sumner Counties.    According to AJ Wilson, the Area Engineer in Winfield, "So far investigative core holes have been dug (to help determine the exact depth of the drilled shafts that will support the bridge) and about 50 percent of the existing bridge deck has been removed. Several lengths of the steel beams have been removed. This demolition started on the east side of the bridge and is moving west. The contractor did not perform work over the holidays to allow their employees to spend time with their families. Weather permitting, work should resume on January 7th." The $6,368,390 project has a 250 working-day schedule. A.M. Cohron & Son Inc. of Atlantic, Iowa, which has an office in Emporia, is the prime contractor for the project.
This construction project has had a major impact on traffic in both Sumner and Cowley Counties. Highway 166 provides a high-profile connecting route between the two counties. 
The state detour follows Highway 77 and then travels Highway 160 through Winfield. It then goes west to Wellington, south to Highway 81 near South Haven, and then over to Highway 166.
The bridge was built in 1937 by the Kansas State Highway Agency.