This made me very concerned, especially since we’ve had several harsh winters since I was last there.
As I approached the bridge, I felt rather depressed when I began to see barriers in front of the bridge opening.
While I was getting out of the car, I was wondering what kind of damage had happened, when I was shaken from my thoughts by a man in a pickup truck. He asked if I was fishing to which I raised my camera.
The truck pulled into the area in front of the bridge and the man got out and started chatting about the bridge in general.
At this point, Lawrence introduced himself and said the bridge had been closed for about two years due to damage by a truck hauling steel plates through the bridge.
Apparently, a driver was heading southbound on Frog Hollow Road, when a steel plate shifted as he turned right onto Covered Bridge Road, severely damaging the South West entrance post.
Lawrence continued to tell me stories about the local area and the bridge as we walked around, inspecting the damage.
In this picture, you can still see some of the fire damage cause by some local boys. Notice the char in the diagonal crossbeam.
From the outside, looking upstream, you can see the boards that were replaced.
I asked when the bridge was going to be fixed, but that remains to be seen. There appears to be an argument between the local townships and the state about who is going to pick up the restoration cost.
When you go to the upstream side of the bridge, you can see where the tall grass has gotten stuck between the boards during several recent floods.
If you look very carefully at the above image, you can see how the left vertical steel I-beam is bent from all the ice and trees hitting it.
Needless to say, it is easy to see that Speakman #1 Covered Bridge needs some major restoration if it is going to last into the future.
I hope by posting these images, I can make other people aware of what needs to be done.
If you have any contacts, please let me know!
Thanks in advance,
§ § § § §
If you found any of the images or information useful, why not consider making a donation today!