Two of Lane County’s historic covered bridges near Lowell will receive some needed maintenance and restoration starting this week. The Pengra and Unity covered bridges, both crossing Fall Creek, will have new roofs installed to help preserve the historic structures.
“We take great pride in Lane County’s 20 covered bridges,” said Lane County Senior Engineer Brad Lemhouse. “This is an important opportunity to preserve an icon of Lane County’s history for generations to come.”
Construction on the Unity Covered Bridge will begin on July 21 and is expected to conclude August 6. The Unity Covered Bridge will be open during construction with possible normal construction traffic delays of up to 20 minutes. There will also be four delays during the project of up to 2 hours. The Pengra Covered Bridge construction will begin on August 5 and is expected to conclude by September 5. The Pengra Covered Bridge will be closed during construction.
The bridges are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. All of the work conducted will remove and replace elements of the bridges in kind to keep the character and appearance of the historic icons. The Pengra Covered Bridge is located on Place Road at milepost 0.04, and the Unity Covered Bridge is located on Jasper-Lowell Road at milepost 8.51. This project is funded by a grant from the National Historic Covered Bridge Preservation Program with matching funds from the Lane County Road Fund. Estimated construction cost for the two projects is $152,140.
Lane County has 20 covered bridges—more covered bridges than any other county west of the Mississippi. Seventeen of these bridges are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Along with the Unity and Pengra bridges, the Nelson Mountain Covered Bridge (Triangle Lake) and the Wendling Covered Bridge (Marcola) were re-roofed earlier this summer. In addition, the Mosby Creek Covered Bridge (Layng Road) in the Cottage Grove area is currently undergoing rehabilitation including the replacement of decayed truss members, new stringers and decking, new siding and re-roofing.
Restoration by the Numbers:
3,460 sq. ft. of fire-treated cedar shingles will be replaced on the Unity Covered Bridge
4,300 sq. ft. of fire-treated cedar shingles will be replaced on the Pengra Covered Bridge
1936 – Unity Covered Bridge was built
1938 – Pengra Covered Bridge was built
$4,400 – the original cost of constructing the Unity Covered Bridge