With its nineteen covered bridges, it comes as no surprise that Ashtabula County, Ohio has both the longest covered bridge in the country as well as the shortest.
Welcome to the West Liberty Covered Bridge in Geneva, Ohio. It was opened in 2011, a logical solution to a simple problem – a culvert in town required replacing and they decided to use a covered bridge style to add to their booming tourism industry.
It was designed by former Ashtabula County Engineer John Smolen who also co- designed the Smolen-Gulf Bridge which is the nation’s longest covered bridge. That’s quite a resume for Mr Smolen!
I will admit that I nearly choked on my bubble gum when I read the $400,000 price tag. According to the local paper, the cost of this bridge was comparable to a more traditional bridge but its still shocking what it costs to build roads and bridges.
There’s a parking lot right next to the bridge so it’s easy to pull over for pictures.
Last month’s road trip to Jamestown, New York was topped off by a day of rambling around Ashtabula County, Ohio looking at covered bridges.
They have nineteen covered bridges including the longest in America. Some are along main highways and others a little further off the path but all are easy to find thanks to a driving tour. It takes about a day to hit them all but I didn’t want to devote my entire day to this endeavor so I made my own abbreviated tour.
The bridge above is the South Denmark Road covered bridge which was built in 1890. The design is called town lattice. Here’s the view from the window.
It’s 81 feet long and was bypassed with a new bridge in 1975. The cool thing is that you can still drive the original road through the bridge if you wish. If you’re a covered bridge nerd it’s a dream come true to veer off the highway to slowly motor through while the rest of the world zooms by.