The Johnson Creek Covered Bridge is a covered Smith truss crossing over Johnson Creek in Robertson County, Kentucky.
The Johnson Creek Covered Bridge, a single-span covered (Robert) Smith truss, was constructed by Jacob N. Bower 8 in 1874. 1 2 8 12 Around 1912, Bower’s son, Louis, added an arch and iron rods on each side to support increased traffic that had been using the crossing. 2 12 A pier was also added to strengthen the center of the lower chords. 12
The bridge was closed to traffic in 1966 when it was bypassed with a new alignment. An arson attempt severely damaged the bridge in 1968, leaving it with no roof or siding, 12 which was not repaired until 1972. 11
A flood along Johnson Creek in 1997 caused the bridge to separate from the foundation, resulting in the bridge’s superstructure leaning. 1 4 The state made $643,432 available for restoration of the covered span in 2001, 2 although the bid came in overestimates at $1 million. 4 In 2006, the state incorporated a design-build approach during the project procurement phase, where contract bids were selected from firms with the expertise to combine the aesthetics of design and technical needs of construction. 9
Work to restore the Johnson Creek Covered Bridge began on June 30, 2007. 4 10 Between June 30 and July 1, a “horizontal tower of steel” was guided through the bridge to stabilize the structure. 6 Approximately 75% of the original materials were retained in the restoration work, which was finished by Arnold M Graton Associates of New Hampshire in late April 2009. 10
The Johnson Creek Covered Bridge is the only example of a Smith truss in the state. 1 2 8
- State: Kentucky
- Route: n/a
- Type: Covered Smith Truss
- Status: Active - Pedestrian
- Total Length: 112 feet
- Deck Width: 16 feet
- Total Height: 14 feet
- Navigational Clearance:
- “Johnson Creek Bridge.” Kentucky Atlas and Gazetteer. University of Kentucky. 13 Sept. 2006.
- Hultgren, John. “Johnson Creek Covered Bridge.” 13 Sept. 2006.
- ‘Kentucky’s Covered Bridges.’ Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives July 1, 2005.
- Mitchell, Wendy. ‘Johnson Creek Covered Bridge project to begin renovation soon.’ Ledger Independent (Maysville), April 12, 2007.
- Cooper, James D. ‘Historic Covered Bridge Preservation Program – FY 2001 Project Selection.’ Federal Highway Administration, September 26, 2001.
- Mitchell, Wendy. ‘Johnson Creek Covered Bridge gets new support.’ Ledger Independent (Maysville), July 2, 2007.
- Mitchell, Wendy. “Funds still lacking for completion of Johnson Creek Covered Bridge.” Ledger Independent (Maysville) 9 Nov. 2007.
- “National Register Information System Application Form”. National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 22 Aug. 1975.
- Comer, Diane. “Kentucky Heritage Council Staff Invited to Present at National Historic Covered Bridge Conference.” Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. 11 Feb. 2016. Article.
- Hultgren, John. “Johnson Creek Covered Bridge.” Bridges to the Past. Web. 11 Feb. 2016.
- Brackney, Peter. “No Destination: Johnson Creek Covered Bridge.” Kaintuckeean. Web. 11 Feb. 2016. Article.
- White, Vernon. Covered Bridges: Focus on Kentucky. Kentucke Imprints, 1985, pp. 103-107.