Covered Bridges of Oregon State

I come to find out that Oregon is home to more than 40 covered wooden bridges. Last week I started out on a day trip to Eugene, Oregon to see what it had to offer. I got just a short way in land from Florence, OR on the coast, and stopped at a Lane County Park, to check it out. At the information booth I found the pamphlet showing locations of 20 of these covered bridges. You see Lane County has more covered bridges than any other County west of the Mississippi. And this is where almost half of all Oregon’s covered bridges are located. These bridges have either been restored or have plans to be restored in the future. Some you can drive over and some just walk, and others are close completely too any kind of traffic due to their condition. With no real plan set for the day I thought this would be a fun opportunity to check some of these out. So driving towards Eugene on Highway 126 there were two of them right off the highway. So the first one I stopped that was Wild Cat Bridge, built in 1925. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is a one lane bridge crossing the river and one you can drive over. You can see it’s not very wide as this car comes through it. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABut there’s no way I could get Raabzilla through it with 11’ 9” clearance. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWas in a beautiful location with a crystal-clear stream running under it. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThen down the road a ways to check out Coyote Creek covered bridge. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis bridge was built in 1922, and is another single lane bridge. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI think Raabzilla might have fit through it, because it had a pretty big opening.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABut as you can see from that last photo it only holds 16 tons, which I think I’d be pushing the limit. And in this photo you can see where somebody tried to squeeze something to tall and chipped the wood.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe rest of the ones I visited that they (six more in total), weren’t on the highway towards Eugene, and I had to get off and on secondary County roads. But it was a beautiful day so off I went using my GPS and phone to track them down. I headed towards the city of Cottage Grove, where several are located. My first stop was at the last covered railroad bridge in Oregon. This bridge crosses a river and was use to service the local sawmill and connected up with the main rail tracks from there.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe bridge sat abandoned and fell into ill repair for many years. It was renovated in 2011 to its original sound structure.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s now part of a beautiful city park and you can walk across this sturdy bridge, but I would’ve been comfortable driving my big old RV a crossed it.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAlso located in the town of Cottage Grove is a beautiful Covered Footbridge called the “Centennial Bridge” built in 1987. It was built using recycled wood from two other bridges, to celebrate the 100 anniversary of Cottage Grove.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s located right off Main Street in a nice little park would gorgeous flowers this time of year. Its open the foot traffic.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFrom there it was off to check out the Currin Bridge built in 1925.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis bridge sits right alongside the new bridge and is only open to foot traffic from one end.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt seemed very structurally sound but I’m sure when the new bridge was put in there was no more need for this bridge but it’s great that it was preserved.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThen down the road a few miles you reach the Mosby Creek Bridge.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis bridge built in 1920 another single lane bridge that structurally sound enough to drive cars across.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABut what it rated at 18 tons and no height clearance marked, you could not drive big trucks or RV rigs across it.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThen down the road a ways you come to the Stewart Bridge built in 1930.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis bridge is in some real need of some tender loving care and is not open to any traffic at all.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy last bridge for the day was near the town of Dorena (Dorena Covered Bridge). This was the widest bridge so far and also the newest built in 1949.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt was wide enough I’m sure you could get to standard cars through it at the same time.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou could drive across it from one direction but there was a dead end in a turnaround on the other side you can see my car parked there.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter visiting all these bridges it was late in the afternoon, around rush-hour. I did head into Eugene a hustling college town, with quite a bit of traffic. But this was the shortest route to get back home. The city of Eugene has everything to offer that most big cities have I’m sure I’ll make another trip there someday. I hope you enjoyed exploring these covered bridges with me. And they’re still a dozen more to check out just in Lane, County alone will have to see how many more I can take in while I’m in the area. Safe travels to all, Rick

 

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