Ashtabula County Ohio - Covered Bridges
All Photographs © Brian & Nancy Morganti
Ashtabula County - Northeast Ohio
18 Covered Bridges
October 14 & 16, 2014
Nancy and I deciding to seek out all 18 of Ashtabula County's famed covered bridges while we were in the area visiting Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Ashtabula County is located in far northeastern Ohio and is home to 18 covered bridges that are scattered about the county on a series of rural, and sometimes unpaved roads. Among these bridges are included both the shortest and longest spans for a covered bridge in United States! We visited the bridges on two different days in somewhat of a reverse order than defined on the tour maps. However, they will be shown below from bridge number 1 through bridge number 18 as navigated on the county's official tour guide map.
1. Netcher Road Bridge: The bridge is constructed over Mill Creek in Jefferson Township, and it features a timber arch with inverted Haupt walls. The "Neo Victorian" design structure is 110 feet long, 22-feet wide, and 14-feet, six inches high. Construction started in 1998, and was opened to traffic in 1999.
2. South Denmark Road: Built in 1890, this Town lattice bridge spans Mill Creek. The 81-foot structure was bypassed in 1975, but is easily accessible.
3. Caine Road Bridge: This first Pratt truss bridge in Ohio was built in 1986 in honor of Ashtabula County's 175th Anniversary. The 124-foot long bridge traverses the west branch of the Ashtabula River in Pierpont Twp.
4. Graham Road Bridge: The Graham Road Bridge, which was built from remnants of a bridge washed downstream in the 1913 flood, now sits in a small park on the south side of the road. The 97-foot Town Truss was over the west branch of the Ashtabula River in Pierpont Township.
5. Root Road Bridge: A 114-foot Town lattice built in 1868, Root crosses the Ashtabula River. It was raised 18 inches during the rehabilitation in 1982/83, and new laminated girders and a center concrete pier were added.
6. Middle Road Bridge: This 136-foot Howe
truss bridge was built in 1868 over Conneaut Creek, which is the
longest river in eastern Ashtabula County. It was reconstructed in
1984 with the help of three volunteers and four college students.
7. State Road Bridge: Containing 97,000 feet of southern pine and oak, the State Road Bridge was erected in 1983 across Conneaut Creek. The 152-foot Town lattice span was the first covered bridge designed and built by County Engineer John Smolen, Jr. A four-foot tall window extends the length of the bridge showing the Town lattice construction. The dedication of the bridge in 1983 was the forerunner of the Covered Bridge Festival.
8. Creek Road Bridge: The construction date of this 125-foot Town lattice bridge is unknown. It sits 25 feet above the Conneaut Creek and was extensively renovated in 1994.
9. Benetka Road Bridge: A 138-foot Town lattice with Arch bridge, Benetka was built about 1900 spanning the Ashtabula River. It was renovated in 1985. "Lake Effect" showers were occurring when this image was taken.
10. Olin Bridge: Located on Dewey Road in Plymouth Township, Olin is the bridge named for a family. The Olin's have owned property next to the bridge since it was built in 1873. The 115 foot Town lattice structure over the Ashtabula River was renovated in 1985.
11. Smolen-Gulf Bridge: The longest covered bridge in the United States is of Pratt Truss construction. Engineering and structural design by John Smolen (former County Engineer) and architectural design by Timothy Martin (current County Engineer) the bridge was dedicated August 26, 2008. The bridge is 613 ft. long and stands 93 ft. above the Ashtabula River. With clear width of 30 ft. and height of 14 ft. 6 in. it will support full legal load traffic and has a life expectancy of 100 years.
12. Giddings Road Bridge: Pratt truss construction was used for this 107-foot bridge built in 1995 with funding from an ODOT Timber Grant. It crosses Mill Creek in Jefferson Twp.
13. Doyle Road Bridge: A 94-foot long Town lattice bridge built in 1868. Doyle spans Mill Creek. Mill Creek is a tributary of the Grand River. This bridge was renovated in 1987 when a laminated arch was added.
14. Liberty Street Bridge: Liberty Street Bridge is located on West Liberty Street just west of Rt. 534 in Geneva. It's 18' span carries traffic across Cowles Creek. Completed in 2011 it became known as Liberty Bridge and it is the shortest covered bridge open to traffic in the US. It was constructed by the A-Tech school who also constructed a small toll booth similar to what covered bridges had during pioneer days.
15. Harpersfield Bridge: This
two-span Howe truss bridge is 228-feet long, use to be the longest
covered bridge in Ohio. It spans the Grand River, which is the
primary drainage channel of western Ashtabula County. The bridge was
built in 1868 and is listed in the National Register of Historic
Places. Located in the County Metro Park it is a great place to
picnic. A flood in 1913 washed soil away from the north end of the
bridge and changed the river channel. The steel bridge was then
attached. A walkway was added in 1991-92 when the bridge was
16. Mechanicsville Road Bridge: The second longest single-span Covered Bridge in Ashtabula County, this 156 ft. Howe truss with arch was built over Grand River in 1867. The arch is 15 layers of 2 x 8 lumber encased by large beams which form the X's of the Howe truss. Believed to be the oldest of the County's covered bridges. This bridge was renovated in 2003-2004 and was once again opened to traffic in the spring of 2004
17. Riverdale Road Bridge: This 114-foot Town lattice bridge sits high above the Grand River. It was built in 1874. The floor was rebuilt in 1981 and glue-laminated wood girders were added. Center steel bracing had been replaced under the bridge in 1945. The road at the east end of the bridge washed out in 1987, and a new concrete abutment was built for added support.
18. Windsor Mills Bridge: Located in a very picturesque area of the county, this was the first bridge we visited---and was later voted our favorite! Windsor Mills Bridge spans Phelps Creek, a tributary of the Grand River. Built in 1867, the Town lattice sits atop cut stone abutments with unique center supports. One is of sandstone quarried nearby. The other, in contrast, is made from creek stone. Windsor Mills Bridge is also listed in the National Register of Historic Places. This bridge was renovated in 2002-2004 and was once again opened to traffic in the spring of 2004