Grays River Covered Bridge

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Grays River Covered Bridge
Grays River Covered Bridge 2010.JPG
Carries Covered Bridge Road
Crosses Grays River
Locale Grays River, Washington
Design Howe truss
Material Timber
Total length 155.5 ft
Width 14 ft
Height 22.5 ft
Vertical clearance 16.75 ft
Construction end 1905
Heritage status NRHP
Grays River Covered Bridge
Grays River Covered Bridge.jpg
The Grays River Covered Bridge in 1988
Grays River Covered Bridge is located in Washington (state)
Grays River Covered Bridge
Nearest city Grays River, Washington
Coordinates 46°21′17.46″N 123°34′46.87″W / 46.3548500°N 123.5796861°W / 46.3548500; -123.5796861Coordinates: 46°21′17.46″N 123°34′46.87″W / 46.3548500°N 123.5796861°W / 46.3548500; -123.5796861
Built 1905
Architect Unknown
Governing body Local
MPS Historic Bridges/Tunnels in Washington State TR (AD)
NRHP Reference #

71000880

[1]
Added to NRHP November 23, 1971

The Grays River Covered Bridge is a one-lane wooden covered bridge over the Grays River in western Wahkiakum County, Washington.[2] The bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places[3] and is the only covered bridge still in use by the public in Washington State. The bridge rests as the centerpiece of the Alhberg Park in Wahkiakum County. The park hosts the Grays River Covered Bridge Festival every two years.[4]

History[edit]

The bridge's NRHP plaque

The bridge itself was built in 1905 by dairy farmer Hans P. Ahlberg in order to allow horse and wagon traffic across the river. Ahlberg's farm spanned both sides of the river. Ahlberg contracted with the company Ferguson & Huston of Astoria, Oregon who drew up the plans.[5] The bridge was covered three years later, in 1908. The roof of the covered bridge was originally built of "board and batten cedar siding with a capped tin roof" [5] The reason for the covering was to preserve the expensive wooden trusses from the ravages of the area rains.[6]

The Grays River Covered Bridge received a major restoration in 1988. In disrepair and at risk of being torn down, the residents of Grays River and Wahkiakum County, Washington worked to raise funds for restoration. Reconstruction was completed by Dulin Construction of Centralia, Washington, for a cost of $295,980.00. On September 30, 1989, with the repairs completed, the bridge was rededicated to public use. Author, Granger The National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry, and Grays River resident Robert Michael Pyle served as Master of Ceremonies for the event.[5]

Engineering[edit]

1905 Bridge plans drawn up by Ferguson & Houston of Astoria, Oregon
Inside the Grays River Covered Bridge showing the Howe Truss

The Howe truss timber bridge with timber decking spans 155.5 feet, is 22.5 feet high (16.75 inside clearance), and 14 feet wide with cedar shingles for the exterior.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23. 
  2. ^ Werner Leggenhager (1967). "Photograph, covered bridge over the Grays River". UW Libraries digital collection. 
  3. ^ National Register of Historic Places, Wahkiakum County
  4. ^ "Ahlberg Park". Wahkiakum Coummunity Foundation. Retrieved 7 April 2011. [dead link]
  5. ^ a b c d Robin Bruce (1991). "American Engineering Record". Retrieved 7 April 2011. 
  6. ^ Kit Oldham, Rehabilitation of the Grays River Bridge, HistoryLink 

External links[edit]