Skip to main content

Lowell Covered Bridge - Oregon

 


As you head on Oregon Highway 58 (OR 58) between Eugene and the Cascades, you will see a covered bridge as you drive along the Dexter Reservoir. This is the Lowell Covered Bridge, the widest covered bridge in Oregon. At 210 feet long and 24 feet wide, this Howe through truss designed covered bridge has an interesting history, and while it is no longer open to motor vehicles, it has been given a second life as an interpretive center about the covered bridges in and around Lane County, Oregon.

In 1874, pioneer Amos Hyland settled in Lane County on the Middle Fork of the Willamette River. He established the town of Lowell, opened the local post office in 1880 and operated a ferry across the river until 1907. That year, the Lowell Covered Bridge was constructed by Nels Roney and a crew of eight men. The bridge was built to bypass an expensive ferry to cross the Willamette River and the route was a main passageway for settlers and supplies to reach the Willamette Valley at the turn of the 20th Century. This bridge was part of a larger project that Roney was working on to rebuild many of the covered spans that were destroyed by snow and flooding. During the 1940s, a truck accident severely damaged the bridge knocking its truss out of alignment, so a new bridge had to be constructed.

The new covered bridge was completed by 1945 for a cost of $25,473. The bridge was built to a maximum width of 24 feet to allow easy passage for motor vehicles, and the roof was added two years later. Then in 1953, with the impending construction of Dexter Dam, the bridge had to be raised an additional 6 feet to accommodate the forecasted water level increase. The dam was completed in 1955 and now when Dexter Reservoir is at capacity, the bridge clears the water by approximately 2 feet, and from what I have read. In 1981, a new concrete bypass bridge was built and use of the covered bridge was discontinued.

The Lowell Covered Bridge lives on as a self-guided interpretive center that showcases for visitors the history of the local area along with history of the Lowell Covered Bridge and other covered bridges in Oregon. One of the displays even has a small model with a section of the outside of the bridge cut-away so you can see how the structure was designed. There is a picnic area, plus places to go birdwatching or fishing. It sits right on the edge of the Willamette River, where on one side you can see the dam, and on the other there are park benches. It is an enjoyable stop along the way for wherever your travels along OR 58 take you.

Side profile of the Dexter Covered Bridge.

Bridge portal. You can see the interpretive displays inside of the bridge.

Walking to the covered bridge.

Dexter Reservoir.

Interpretive displays.

Interpretive displays.



How to Get There:



Sources and Links:
Bridgehunter.com - Lowell Covered Bridge 37-20-18
That Oregon Life - The Widest Covered Bridge In Oregon Is A Great Spot To Visit
Oregon.com - Lowell Covered Bridge
Eugene Cascades and Coast - Lowell Covered Bridge Interpretive Center
Travel Oregon - Lowell Bridge
City of Lowell, Oregon - Lowell Covered Bridge Interpretive Center

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

California State Route 38

California State Route 38 is a fifty-nine-mile State Highway located entirety in San Bernardino County and a component of the Rim of the World Highway.  California State Route 38 begins at California State Route 18 at Bear Valley Dam of the San Bernardino Mountains and follows an easterly course on the north shore of Big Bear Lake.  California State Route 38 briefly multiplexes California State Route 18 near Baldwin Lake and branches east towards the 8,443-foot-high Onyx Summit.  From Onyx Summit the routing of California State Route 38 reverses course following a largely westward path through the San Bernardino Mountains towards a terminus at Interstate 10 in Redlands.   Pictured as the blog cover is California State Route 38 at Onyx Summit the day it opened to traffic on August 12th, 1961.   Part 1; the history of California State Route 38 California State Route 38 (CA 38) is generally considered to be the back way through the San Bernardino Mountains to Big Bear Lake of Bear Valley

I went to Buc-ee's and came away unimpressed

Buc-ee's, the Texas-sized gas station and convenience store that started in Texas, has been expanding its territory.  New locations have sprung up in Georgia, Alabama, and Florida.  Construction is underway, or plans are in place for even larger stations in Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina, Mississippi, and Colorado . For nearly four decades, Buc-ee's was a Texas-only novelty.  The first location opened in Lake Jackson, Texas in 1982, and another four stores opened over the next decade.  In 2000, Buc-ee's began its Texas-sized growth by adding over 20 new stores - mainly around Houston, Dallas/Ft. Worth, and Austin/San Antonio areas.   Each store was built larger - with more gas pumps, amenities, and offerings.  The store became well-known for its clean bathrooms, fresh-cut brisket sandwiches, and wall of beef jerky.  Texans and visitors from all around would take road trips to visit new stores or get their Buc-ee's fix.   Buc-ee's has billboards advertising thei

The original alignment of California State Route 33 in Firebaugh

Firebaugh is a city located on the San Joaquin River of western Fresno County.  Firebaugh is one of the oldest American communities in San Joaquin Valley having been settled as the location of Firebaugh's Ferry in 1854.  Traditionally Firebaugh has been served by California State Route 33 which was one of the original Sign State Routes announced during August 1934.  In modern times California State Route 33 is aligned through Firebaugh on N Street.  Originally California State Route 33 headed southbound passed through Firebaugh via; N Street, 8th Street, O Street, 12th Street, Nees Avenue and Washoe Avenue.  The blog cover depicts early California State Route 33 near Firebaugh crossing over a one-lane canal bridge.  The image below is from the 1935 Division of Highways Map of Fresno County which depicts the original alignment of California State Route 33 in Firebaugh. Part 1; the history of California State Route 33 in Firebaugh The community of Firebaugh is named in honor of Andr