The 86 foot long Ryot Covered Bridge gets its name from the nearby town of Ryot, located in Bedford County, Pennsylvania. Spanning over the Dunning Creek, the bridge is designed in the Burr arch-truss style. The original construction of the bridge was approved by grand jury on April 23, 1867, crossing at the Jacob Beckley Fording of the Dunning Creek. The surveyor for the bridge was Samuel Ketterman and the viewers of the bridge's construction were Hirman Davis and William Kirk. With that, the Ryot Covered Bridge first opened to traffic in 1869.
A major restoration of the Ryot Covered Bridge took place in 1995. Unfortunately, just seven years later, in 2002, the bridge was burned down by teenaged arsonists. The Bedford County Commissioners quickly committed to the restoration of the bridge and to an accelerated schedule for its reconstruction. P. Joseph Lehman, Inc., Consulting Engineers was chosen to undertake the bridge's rehabilitation and reconstruction. Due to the restoration that took place in 1995, the new steel beams, reinforced concrete and mortared stone-faced abutments were not damaged by the fire. Fortunately, some of the timber bottom chords and end arch pieces were able to be salvaged. The bridge was completely torn apart, inspected, the parts numbered, and reassembled with needed repairs and parts. New siding and a deck were also added for the bridge, as that needed to be replaced.
The total project costs for reconstructing the Ryot Covered Bridge cost about $300,000, with a small portion having been recouped from the people who set the fire. The bridge reopened to traffic in 2004. Like all of the restored covered bridges in Bedford County, this bridge is painted white with red trim and features a marker with its history. Unfortunately, as a result of the rebuilding of the bridge, the Ryot Covered Bridge was removed from the National Register of Historic Places because there was not enough of the original bridge remaining when it was rebuilt, thus at this time it was deemed as having no historic significance.
|Side profile of the Ryot Covered Bridge|
|You can drive across the bridge, as long as you meet height and weight requirements.|
How to Get There:
Sources and Links:
Bridgehunter.com - Ryot Covered Bridge 38-05-17
P. Joseph Lehman, Inc. Consulting Engineers - Ryot Covered Bridge
Delco Daily Times - Top 10 for Thursday: Top 10 Bridges of Bedford County
The Pennsylvania Rambler - Knisley and Ryot Covered Bridges
November 24, 2021 - Crossposted to Quintessential Pennsylvania (https://quintessentialpa.blogspot.com/2021/11/ryot-covered-bridge.html)