Of all of the covered bridges found around Ashtabula County, Ohio, the Netcher Road Covered Bridge located in Jefferson, Ohio was the last covered bridge built in the county during the 20th Century, opening to the public in August 1999. Just a few years younger than the nearby Smolen-Gulf Bridge, the Netcher Bridge is built with a Haupt truss design and features what is best described as a neo-Victorian exterior look. The Netcher Road Covered Bridge crosses Mill Creek is 110 feet in length, 22 feet in width and 14 feet, 6 inches tall, which can easily withstand the height clearance of most vehicles. Designed by then-Ashtabula County Engineer John Smolen with an architectural design by local architect Beverly Cowles of Jefferson, Ohio, the covered bridge cost $819,050 and was funded through a Federal Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act grant.
John Smolen himself chose the Haupt truss design for the bridge, a design originally used in railroad design and created by Herman Haupt of the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1854. Richter Construction of Columbus, Ohio won the bid to construct the covered bridge, while the 24 ton trusses for the covered bridge were fabricated in Ripley, West Virginia. Southern pine was used for the interior bridge construction, namely the arches, walls, floor and roof. Yellow poplar was used for the covered bridge's siding. The covered bridge was stained red and trimmed in a cream color, since painted white. The light trim makes the cupolas above the bridge's portals certainly stand out. The architectural highlights of the bridge include cupolas with copper roofs at each end.
I visited the Netcher Road Covered Bridge while chipping away at my list of seeing the many covered bridges in Ashtaubla County. The cupola and siding design for this bridge are what really make it stand out, especially as it is a design feature I don't really come across when seeing covered bridges around the Northeastern United States. The Netcher Road Covered Bridge is certainly worth the quick visit if you are exploring covered bridges in northeast Ohio.
How to Get There:
Sources and Links:
Ashtabula County Barn Quilt Trail - Netcher Road
Ashtabula County Ohio Visitors Bureau - Netcher Road Covered Bridge
The Pennsylvania Rambler - Netcher Road Covered Bridge
My Ohio Fun - Ashtabula County Covered Bridge Tour
Tom The Backroads Traveller - The Netcher Road Covered Bridge
Ashtabula Star Beacon - Netcher Road: The last covered bridge built over Mill Creek (April 12, 2009)