Lynchburg Covered Bridge

The Lynchburg Covered Bridge is a covered Long truss over the East Fork Little Miami River in Lynchburg, Ohio. It was later rehabilitated with pseudo-suspension infrastructure, the only such covered bridge in North America.


History

Sealed bids were requested by Highland County on October 11, 1869 calling for the construction of a covered span over the East Fork Little Miami River on the west side of town. The crossing was finished in December 1870 for $3,138.66 by local bridge builder John C. Gregg of Hillsboro.

In 1963, plans by the Highland County engineering department were made to remove the bridge and replace it with a conventional uncovered crossing. A letter writing campaign for its preservation was begun, which had the assistance and backing of Ohio Governor James A. Rhodes. The Ohio Department of Transportation noted that it had no jurisdiction in the issue as the Lynchburg Covered Bridge was not located on a state highway. The Highland County Board of Commissioners, after a vote, agreed to allow the bridge to remain in place.

A new bridge elsewhere over the East Fork Little Miami River was erected in 1969 and the Lynchburg Covered Bridge was converted into a pedestrian-only crossing. In 1974, high winds ripped most of the roof off of the bridge and damaged some of the structural elements. Materials for repairs were donated soon afterwards, and the Lynchburg Historical Foundation launched a fundraising campaign for additional work. Over $6,000 was raised and the bridge’s restoration was completed by volunteers.

The Lynchburg Covered Bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on March 16, 1976. It remained one of eight surviving covered Long truss bridges in the state at the time of the designation.1

The bridge was extensively rehabilitated from July 2003 to June 2005.2

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