Phillipi Covered Bridge (BUS US 250)

The Phillipi Covered Bridge carries Business US 250 across the Tygart River in Phillipi, West Virginia.

Designed by Lemuel Chenoweth in 1852, it is one of the oldest and most prominent covered spans in the United States. It also holds the distinction of being the only covered bridge carrying a U.S. highway. The bridge was constructed by the General Assembly of Virginia for the Beverly to Fairmont Turnpike, during a time when the state of West Virginia did not exist. Statehood would not be granted for another eleven years.

The Phillipi Covered Bridge survived the Civil War, including a surprise attack by Confederate troops in 1861. The Union won that battle, however, and troops utilized the bridge as barracks during part of the war, helping to strengthen the local Union troops. Numerous natural disasters, chiefly floods and some small fires, came close to overtaking the structure throughout the years, but none was worse than the blaze on February 2, 1989 that nearly totaled the historic span. A two-year restoration effort that concluded in 1991 restored the covered bridge at a cost of $1.4 million. A fire suppression system was added to prevent a future catastrophe.

Other notable features included the replacement of the wooden bridge deck with concrete in 1938, which was restored to wood in the 1989-1991 renovations, and the addition of a pedestrian walkway.

In 2003, trucks were diverted to the U.S. Route 250 bypass.

  • Gallery
  • Statistics
  • Sources
  • Designation: BUS US 250
  • Crosses: Tygart River
  • Bridge Type: Covered long Burr arch truss

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