I recently took a jaunt down to Cottage Grove, Oregon. The draw? Covered bridges, of course. I am enamored by them and wish there were more. It just so happens there is quite the concentration of them in this small area and I was able to see five bridges within the space of an hour an a half.
You can pop them into any GPS and it will take you right there. The best part was the lack of people. I mostly had the bridges to myself.
This is the only bridge in Oregon that is painted two different colors: white portals and red sides. This 105 foot (32 m) bridge was built in 1925 to replace a dilapidated 1883 bridge spanning the Row River. In 1979, Lane County completed a new concrete bridge just a few feet away and closed the old bridge to traffic. In 1995 the Currin Bridge was rehabilitated and is accessible to pedestrians. Located near Cottage Grove.
Dorena Covered Bridge
Dorena Reservoir was engineered in 1946, followed by the construction of Government Road along its west bank. The filled reservoir covers the former town site named for area residents Dora Burnette and Rena Martin using a combination of both their first names. The community of 450 people was relocated 5 miles (8 km) upriver. Approximately a hundred homes and the rail road were dismantled or moved. There does not appear to be any remaining signs of the town, even when the water is drawn down in winter.
To cross Row River, Dorena Bridge was added as part of the reservoir plan in 1949. The bridge was built for $16,547 under the supervision of Miller Sorenson, a Lane County foreman. It provided access between the Star Ranch and Cottage Grove.
The bridge was bypassed by a concrete bridge in 1974 and fell into disuse. In 1987, along with its neighboring covered bridges, Dorena Bridge was fumigated and measures were taken for the structure’s basic preservation. In 1996, the Oregon Covered Bridge Program grants facilitated a full rehabilitation and the creation of an adjacent park. The bridge’s substructure and spans were replaced and the array of windows were installed to facilitate ventilation.
Chambers Covered Railroad Bridge
The Chambers Covered Bridge is a covered bridge located in Cottage Grove, Oregon, United States. It is 78 feet long and spans the Coast Fork Willamette River. It was built in 1925 to carry rail traffic hauling logs from the Lorane Valley to the J.H. It was the most majestic of the covered bridges I saw, it’s sheer size and height was very impressive. I especially liked the west facing curved stairwell up to the bridge. The upkeep on it has been well maintained.
Mosby Creek Covered Bridge
The Mosby Creek Bridge, also called the Layng Bridge, is a historic Howe truss covered bridge located near Cottage Grove, Oregon, United States. The bridge crosses Mosby Creek and was constructed in 1920, making it the oldest covered bridge in Lane County
Stewart Covered Bridge
Stewart Bridge is a Howe truss covered bridge built in 1930 near Walden, Oregon, United States, in Lane County. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. It is 60 feet long and crosses Mosby Creek, a tributary of the Row River.
J. Polk Currin Swinging Bridge
While it does not qualified as a covered bridge, the swinging bridge is another point-of-interest for bridge enthusiasts, located just a half-mile upstream from Centennial Covered Bridge near Prospector Park. This wooden and steel cable suspension bridge spans the Coast Fork of the Willamette River as it passes through town. The original bridge was built in 1965 for children crossing the creek for school. Since then the bridge has been rebuilt four times. Earlier generations of the bridge swung side-to-side (thus earning the name “swinging” bridge) but the current bridge does not. The bridge was overhauled in the fall of 2019, re-opening for pedestrian traffic after a three year safety and restoration project. “J. Polk Currin” was added to the bridge name in honor of the Currin family’s long history in the area – however, no descendants of the Currin family remain in the community.