Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Bridges of Ashtabula County - Part II

I find myself asking the question of why do I have to go to far flung places like Ohio and Indiana to see covered bridges when there are many rivers that snake around Michigan.  You would think that combined with the amount of lumber in Michigan, there would be more of them.

Maybe the answer lies in the fact that many of these bridges were restored in the early 1980's.  This might have corresponded with a resurgence of interest in covered bridges.  It is possible that many of Michigan's covered bridges fell into disrepair well before that time.  The other possible answer is that Michigan was making money hands over fists off it's timber trade and used other materials for its bridges.  Still, it seems like there would be more of them.
 In the interest of avoiding post fatigue, I decided to break this up into two parts.  The Olin's Bridge was built in 1873 and it carries Dewey Road over the Ashtabula River.
 It is named after the family who owned the land next to the bridge.  In fact this family still owns the land next to the bridge.  Alson and Alvina Olin came to this area in 1832 from New York.
 This bridge was renovated in 1985.
 Probably one of the more interesting covered bridges I saw was the Smolen-Gulf Bridge.  At 613 feet, it is the longest covered bridge in the United States and the fourth longest in the world.
 It was built to replace the old steel bridge that was built in 1949.  That bridge replaced the Crooked Gulf covered bridge which was built in 1867.
 The bridge itself was designed by John Smolen and construction began in 2006.  It cost almost $8 million to build and construction was completed in 2008.
 In 2010, there was a visitor's pavilion added.
 The view from the other side of the river.
 The Giddings Road Covered bridge was built in 1995 with funding from the ODOT Timber Grant.
 It is 107 feet long.
 The bridge is a Pratt Truss.
 The Netcher Road Bridge was built in 1998 and is one of the newest covered bridges in the area.  It was designed by John Smolen, Jr.
 It was also funded by an ODOT timber grant.
 The South Denmark Road Covered Bridge was built in 1895.
 In 1975, it was bypassed by another bridge but is still open to light traffic.
 I think this is the Caine Road Bridge.  It was built in 1986 in honor of Ashtabula County's 175th Anniversary.  It was also designed by John Smolen Jr.
 It is a Pratt Truss design.
 And still pretty neat.
 The Doyle Road Covered Bridge was built in 1868 and renovated in 1987.
 the Bridge spans Mills Creek which is named after the family that settled it in early days.
 The Mechanicsville Bridge was built in 1867.  It is believed to be the oldest Bridge in the County.
 It was closed to traffic in 2004 while undergoing renovation.  At this time, traffic was rerouted over a nearby Bridge.  I'll have to say this one is in pretty good shape.
 The Harpersfield Covered Bridge is pretty unique in that it is fed by a steel bridge on one side.  The Covered Bridge was built in 1868 and the steel span was added in 1913. 
 In 1992, the bridge was renovated.
 At 228 feet, this is the third longest covered bridge in Ohio.
 I'll have to say it was a pretty neat looking bridge.
 I have no idea why this bridge was on the list of bridges to see.  I guess it is a bridge and it is covered, therefore it is a covered bridge.  It is named the West Liberty Bridge and was built in 2011.  It was designed by John Smolen and has been called the shortest covered bridge in the United States.
 The Riverdale Road Covered Bridge was built in 1874.  In 1945, the center steel bracing was replaced and in 1981, the bridge was renovated.  A concrete abutment was added at the west end after the road was washed out.
It was race against the sunlight to catch this bridge.  It was getting late and approaching the time that I wanted to leave the area but I figured I had one more bridge to catch, so I caught it.  The Windsor Mills Bridge was built in 1867 and renovated in 2004.  The bridge sits atop stone abutments.

So there you have the bridges.  I think I'm going to have to head out that way at some point in the future.

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