Johnson Creek Covered Bridge

Johnson Creek Covered Bridge

The Johnson Creek Covered Bridge is a covered Smith truss crossing over Johnson Creek in Robertson County, Kentucky.

The Johnson Creek Covered Bridge, a covered (Robert) Smith truss, was constructed by Jacob N. Bower 8 in 1874. 1 2 8 Around 1912, Bower’s son, Louis, added an arch on each side to support increased traffic that had been using the crossing. 2

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, 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: 114 feet
  • Deck Width: 16 feet


  1. “Johnson Creek Bridge.” Kentucky Atlas and Gazetteer. University of Kentucky. 13 Sept. 2006.
  2. Hultgren, John. “Johnson Creek Covered Bridge.” 13 Sept. 2006.
  3. ‘Kentucky’s Covered Bridges.’ Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives July 1, 2005.
  4. Mitchell, Wendy. ‘Johnson Creek Covered Bridge project to begin renovation soon.’ Ledger Independent (Maysville), April 12, 2007.
  5. Cooper, James D. ‘Historic Covered Bridge Preservation Program – FY 2001 Project Selection.’ Federal Highway Administration, September 26, 2001.
  6. Mitchell, Wendy. ‘Johnson Creek Covered Bridge gets new support.’ Ledger Independent (Maysville), July 2, 2007.
  7. Mitchell, Wendy. “Funds still lacking for completion of Johnson Creek Covered Bridge.” Ledger Independent (Maysville) 9 Nov. 2007.
  8. “National Register Information System Application Form”. National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 22 Aug. 1975.
  9. Comer, Diane. “Kentucky Heritage Council Staff Invited to Present at National Historic Covered Bridge Conference.” Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. 11 Feb. 2016. Article.
  10. Hultgren, John. “Johnson Creek Covered Bridge.” Bridges to the Past. Web. 11 Feb. 2016.
  11. Brackney, Peter. “No Destination: Johnson Creek Covered Bridge.” Kaintuckeean. Web. 11 Feb. 2016. Article.

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