the Grave Creek Bridge - Photo by: Bill Cockrell
The Grave Creek covered span at Sunny Valley, about 15 miles north of Grants Pass, can be seen by motorists traveling Interstate 5.
Features of the wooden structure include six gothic style windows on either side, concrete abutments, a Howe truss, rounded portals and a shake roof.
The old wooden river crossing is the last covered bridge on the northsouth Pacific Highway system. Existing records on the GraveCreek Bridge show a contract awarded by the Oregon State Highway Department to J. Elmer Nelson in April 1920.
Just four months later, traffic passed through its portals. The 105-foot Howe truss is supported by "dumb bell" concrete piers. Total cost of the construction, including the engineering fees, is listed at $21,128.
When Interstate 5 was built nearby, ownership and maintenance of the Sunny Valley Loop Road, which includes Grave Creek Bridge, passed to Josephine County. In the late 1990s, the bridge was closed to traffic and was reopened in 2001 after repairs to the approaches and housing.
HOW TO GET THERE: From Grants Pass, travel 15 miles north in Interstate 5 to Sunny Valley exit. Turn left at Sunny Valley Loop Road and continue north for about one mile. Grave Creek can be seen from I-5 and is approximately 0.25 miles from the highway.