One of Oregon's oldest covered bridges, the Hayden Covered Bridge spans over the Alsea River just west of the town of Alsea in Benton County, Oregon. Located just off Oregon Highway 34 and the Marys Peak to Pacific Scenic Byway, the Hayden Covered Bridge was built in 1918, reconstructed in 1946 and rehabilitated in 2003. The covered bridge was built in a Howe through truss design at a length of 150 feet, with a main span of 90 feet in length. The bridge can host a single lane of traffic at a time with a maximum vehicle height of 11 feet 6 inches and a maximum vehicle width of 16 feet. In 1979, the bridge was placed on the National Register of Historic Places
One of several covered bridges that were built in the Alsea River Valley, the Hayden Covered Bridge is the last covered bridge that remains. Oregon's last covered bridge located on a primary state highway, the Mill Creek Covered Bridge on Oregon Highway 34, stood just two miles away. But even the Hayden Covered Bridge has seen changes over time. In the 1946 reconstruction, the bridge's portals were once rounded in its design, but have been enlarged to a more modern design to facilitate larger loads. Vertical board and batten siding flare out at the covered bridge's base, similar to covered bridges found in nearby Lincoln County. A daylighting window strip placed below the roofline on both sides of the bridge illuminates the covered bridge's interior.
The future of this covered bridge may be different. After being in service for over 100 years, the Hayden Covered Bridge is slated to have a future as a pedestrian bridge. In 2017, an analysis determined that the bridge could not be strengthened to the legal load limit, so constructing a new bridge has been proposed at an estimated cost of $2,712,214. Construction is anticipated to begin on the new bridge in April 2024, and it is expected that the Hayden Covered Bridge will be saved for pedestrian use.
|The Hayden Covered Bridge crosses the Alsea River, named for the local Alseya Native American tribe.|
|The Hayden Covered Bridge looks stately and stands out in the springtime.|
|Inside the covered bridge.|
|An old barn rests and collapses next to the Hayden Covered Bridge.|
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Sources and Links:
Oregon.com - Alsea River (Hayden) Covered Bridge
Travel Oregon - Hayden Covered Bridge
Bridgehunter.com - Hayden Covered Bridge 37-02-05 #2
Construction Journal - Hayden Covered Bridge - Benton County