The Gilkey Covered Bridge is a 120 foot long Howe Truss covered bridge located on Goar Road near Scio, Oregon. The covered bridge features open sides, curved portals and was built in 1939 over Thomas Creek, a tributary of the South Santiam River. The bridge also serves as part of the Linn County Covered Bridge Tour, which is a driving tour that features nine covered bridges in and around the county.
The covered bridge closed in 1997 due to damage caused by an overweight vehicle, cracking the bridge's timbers. This led to the covered bridge being rehabilitated, ultimately being reopened in 1998. In 2017, the covered bridge underwent further renovation with new approach spans built for the bridge, along with replacement of the bridge's substructure, abutments, and piers. Once renovations were completed, the weight limit of the bridge increased from 6 tons to 40 tons.
The covered bridge is a remnant of the former town of Gilkey, serving as a point for shipping of agricultural goods. Gilkey was established when the Southern Pacific Railroad arrived in 1880 and was named in honor of Allen and William Gilkey, who were early settlers to the area. There is a parallel span for the railroad, and up until 1960, the railroad bridge was also covered. The only remnants of Gilkey is a sign down the road explaining the history of the area, along with the historic Gilkey Covered Bridge.
How to Get There:
Sources and Links:
Oregon Discovery - Gilkey Covered Bridge
Travel Oregon - Gilkey Bridge
Linn County, Oregon - Covered Bridge Tour Route
Yesterdays Trails - CV019: Gilkey Covered Bridge near Jefferson, OR – 1977