the Deadwood Bridge - Photos by: Bill Cockrell
Once considered one of Oregon's most dilapidated covered bridges, the Deadwood Bridge is now among the state's finest refurbished roofed spans.
Lane County bridge builder Miller Sorenson, who supervised the Deadwood Bridge construction in 1932, recalled the construction was unique. Flooring was installed on a slant so that traffic rounding the corner onto the bridge would travel more safely.
The cost to build the bridge totaled $4,814, and the bridge became part of the state's secondary road system. The span was bypassed in the 1970s with a concrete bridge providing a more direct route on Deadwood Road about a half mile away, and little maintenance was given the covered bridge.
When the structural condition worsened in the early 1980s, county officials decided to rehabilitate the covered bridge. In 1986, workers replaced damaged siding, flooring and portal boards, along with work on the bracing, roof and approaches. Following restoration to near mint condition, a dedication ceremony in October 1986 marked the reopening of the bridge to traffic.
All lateral bracing use steel tension rods. The top and bottom chords are made of one piece old-growth timber. The original house had portal openings that were semi-elliptical but the design was changed to a Tudor arch style when the bridge was restored. The house has a long window opening on the north side of the bridge.
HOW TO GET THERE: From Eugene, travel west to Mapleton on Highway 126. Continue northeast on Highway 36 through Swisshome 12 miles to Deadwood (or southwest from Junction City). Turn north on Lower Deadwood Road. Follow Lower Deadwood Road approximately 5 miles and turn right on Deadwood Loop Road. Deadwood Creek is on Deadwood Loop Road at Mile Point 0.3