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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Oregon Covered Bridges

While we were in Oregon, we stopped by 2 covered bridges- the Chitwood Covered Bridge and the Drift Creek Covered Bridge.  While researching for our trip and finding that there were covered bridges, I wondered why they were covered bridges instead of just bridges.  I did a quick search and discovered that the covered bridges last a lot longer than the uncovered bridges do. When the bridges were originally built, they were built with large wooden beams.   Left out in the weather, the beams would rot and need to be replaced about every 9 years.  If the bridge was covered, the beams would stay dry and last over 30 years.  Since the large part of the cost of the bridge is the structural members, it made sense to spend a little bit more money to cover the bridge to allow it to last much longer.
The Chitwood Covered Bridge is 10 miles or so east of Newport on the way to Corvallis.  It's just off the highway, but I think a new bypass will leave it off the route pretty soon.  We enjoyed stopping, taking pictures, and walking over the bridge.  Then we got back in the car and drove over the bridge.  Definitely worth it. 
 You can see the large trusses of the bridge in the picture below.  Very cool! 

The other covered bridge we saw was the Drift Creek covered bridge.  This one is a mile or so off the highway about 10 miles east of Lincoln City.  There's a small park at the bridge, although you can't drive over it because there's a private residence on the other side. 
The Drift Creek Bridge has a unique story.  It was scheduled to be demolished, but a family rescued it, relocated it, and restored it.  A summary and historic pictures are found on the website of Lincoln County, Oregon, with another one here

Nearest City: Newport, OR and Lincoln City, OR
Location: N° W°
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