Work is underway to restore the historic Carrollton Covered Bridge in Barbour County, the West Virginia Division of Highways announced.
Contractors for Span 1, LLC are currently installing scaffolding and rigging to replace the bridge’s wooden siding and portions of the upper superstructure.
“While it’s been a long time coming for community members, it’s been a top priority for the Division of Highways since day one,” said District 7 Engineer Brian Cooper, P.E.
The bridge, the third oldest of 17 surviving covered bridge in West Virginia, was badly damaged by a fire in August 2017. The blaze destroyed much of the outer covering of the bridge but left the basic structure mostly intact.
The WVDOH was able to reopen the bridge to traffic in September 2017 after minor repairs to the modern bridge superstructure to ensure the bridge was safe. Consultants then developed plans on how to best replace the structure.
Consultants Mead & Hunt, who have done extensive work on the Philippi Covered Bridge, determined what portions of the old wooden superstructure could be saved and installed temporary bracing to shore up the remains of the roof system.
Tiger Diversified LLC, in Upshur County, was awarded a contract in May 2021 to provide the timber for the restoration. Once scaffolding and rigging are in place the District 7 Bridge Department will restore the structure.
The bridge was built in 1856 by brothers Emmett and Daniel O’Brien and crosses the Buckhannon River near Carrollton. At 140 feet, it is one of the longest surviving covered bridges in West Virginia.
The bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1981.