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West Liberty Street Covered Bridge - Geneva, Ohio


 
Ashtabula County, Ohio boasts both the longest and shortest covered bridges currently standing in the United States, just a mere twelve miles apart from each other. The shorter of the bridges is the West Liberty Street Covered Bridge, located in Geneva, Ohio. The covered bridge spans 18 feet in length and was built in 2011 to replace a damaged culvert. The bridge uses a single kingpost truss and was the first modern kingpost timber covered bridge in Ashtabula County. With exception of the railings for the sidewalk, the covered bridge is a bit more open than many longer spans, but also features a roof with a more pronounced slope than many other covered bridges. A toll booth was also built to pay homage to the days when a toll collector was stationed at many a covered bridge.

It was in October 2007 when Geneva city manager Jim Pearson announced a plan to build the shortest covered bridge in the United States in the city. Since Ashtabula County is known for its wide array of covered bridges, the thought was to honor this fact and build something that brings people to the area. The city of Geneva really tried to bring the local community together with the construction of the covered bridge. John Smolen, a former Ashtabula County engineer and founder of Smolen Engineering in Jefferson, Ohio, designed the West Liberty Street Covered Bridge. A local mill processed the wood that, and roofing materials came in as a donation. Wood used in the construction of the covered bridge was selected from locally sourced oak, maple and poplar trees. Students from the Ashtabula County Technical and Career Campus built the covered bridge in a modular fashion.

I had the chance to visit the West Liberty Street Covered Bridge and visit this quirky little spot. I appreciate the outside the box thinking in transforming a standard culvert into something memorable that the entire community can be proud of and enjoy, whether they drive a car, ride a bike or walk along the bridge's sidewalks.






How to Get There:



Sources and Links:
Ashtabula County Barn Quilt Trail - West Liberty Street, Geneva
Ohio Magazine - Nation’s Shortest Covered Bridge, Geneva 
Ashtabula County, Ohio Visitors Bureau - West Liberty Street Covered Bridge
The Historical Marker Database - Liberty Street Covered Bridge

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