Irish Bend Bridge - Corvallis, OR
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member NW_history_buff
N 44° 33.992 W 123° 18.049
10T E 476113 N 4934844
Quick Description: A relocated bridge has undergone much rehabilitation over the years and was relisted in the National Register of Historic Places in 2013.
Location: Oregon, United States
Date Posted: 6/7/2018 1:52:20 PM
Waymark Code: WMYEZG
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member fi67
Views: 4

Long Description:
The following verbiage is taken from the National Park Service website to highlight this covered bridge:

The Irish Bend Covered Bridge is an excellent example of a covered Howe-truss timber bridge, a form the Oregon State Highway Department developed in the 1920's-1930's as a standardized plan that the Department and individual counties used to improve the design and construction quality of their bridges. It is significant under Criterion C for its engineering design, at the state level, as documented in the 1979 Oregon Covered Bridges Thematic Nomination. 1 The 1954 construction date of the bridge is unusual as a late date for this type of bridge construction (a covered truss) and for its use of materials (timber), but remains a good representative example of its type. Today it is one of fifty-six surviving examples of the estimated 450 covered timber truss bridges that once existed in Oregon. Benton County built the Irish Bend Covered Bridge over the Willamette Slough in rural Benton County in 1954. In 1988, thirteen (13) years after a modern structure bypassed the bridge in 1975, the county dismantled the bridge, stored it for one year, and after a lengthy process to find the bridge a new home subsequently reassembled the bridge in Corvallis on the campus of Oregon State University in 1989. The dismantling of the bridge by the County in 1988 initiated its removal from listing in the National Register. The bridge relocation meets Criterion Exception B as the bridge's current bucolic setting is similar to its original setting. The bridge retains integrity of design, materials, workmanship, and feeling, as the bridge reassembly follows the original plan design and utilized the majority of the bridge's original materials.

I was able to locate a very current online newspaper article that highlights some rehabilitation this covered bridge will go through in the next couple of years. It reads:

Irish Bend Bridge to get makeover

Jun 5, 2018

The Irish Bend Covered Bridge will be spruced up in the next couple of years in a $348,000 project that features some bizarre bureaucratic twists and turns.

The city of Corvallis is paying $312,000 for the work, which includes installation of a fire sprinkler system, cleaning, fumigation and repairing of the dry rot in the structure plus painting and installation of a new roof.

The design work, said Som Sartnurak, the city’s transportation engineering supervisor, is set to be completed next August, with construction expected to conclude in August 2020.

Benton County is providing the remaining $36,000. Oregon State University owns the bridge, built in 1954, but the Benton County Natural Areas and Parks Department maintains it, per an agreement signed by OSU and the county when the restored bridge was placed at the west end of Campus Way in 1989.

The city is involved, Sartnurak said, because the $312,000 is a Federal Highway Administration grant being administered through the Oregon Department of Transportation.

“The funding … requires the implementing entity to be certified by ODOT for the delivery of federally funded projects,” Sartnurak said. “Benton County is not an ODOT-certified agency and is not authorized to manage/deliver this project.”

The certification can be a lengthy process, Sartnurak said, with the city having already gone through the required review of city staff, resources, processes, procedures, expertise and qualifications because of an increase in awarded federally funded projects.

It makes less sense, said Sartnurak, for an agency such as Benton County, which does not regularly work with federal funds, to go through the certification procedure. Sartnurak noted that “it is common for a certified local agency to perform federal project delivery for non-certified local agencies."

The city of Corvallis has been acting as that certified agency on behalf of Benton County since 2009.

So the federal government gave money to the state, which gave it to the city because they could not give it to the county.

And the project will get done.

Current Condition of Bridge: Good

Web Address: [Web Link]

Description of Covered Bridge:
The Irish Bend Covered Bridge is a sixty (60) foot-long Howe truss. The top chord is untreated Douglas-fir, 12" x 12" and 40'-4" long. The bottom chord is formed from paired 8" x 12" members spliced to 66'-0" in length. Diagonals are notch-spliced 8" x 1 O"s and are 20'-4" long, with 1-3/4" diameter steel tension rods, plates and hangers. Chords and all steel elements were salvaged from the 1954 span and re-used while replacement diagonals were milled to the original specifications from matching Douglas fir as part of the reassembly process.

The overall width of the structure is 22' -2" with 12"x 14-1 /2" floor beams, diagonal sway bracing, and stringers supporting wooden floor decking. Cross-bracing or bridging stiffens the 4" x 13" stringers. Most substructure material is salvaged from the original bridge, with new floor decking installed as part of the reassembly process. Salvaged corbels are tied to the new concrete substructure with metal clips.

Portals, with 8" x 8" diagonal bracing, are largely rebuilt from original material, matching the 1954 design. Framing, supporting the siding, is cedar, with 3" x 8" horizontal members and 3" x 12" verticals, all salvaged from the original construction. Another element of the reassembly process involved the milling and installation of cedar board-and-batten siding to match the original specifications. Roof framing of 2" x 6" fir material, as well as the sheathing and cedar-shingle roofing, are all new materials, visually matched to the original standard design. The major modification to the Irish Bend Covered Bridge from its 1954 appearance is the use of cedar-shingle roofing rather than the originally applied corrugated metal.

Year Built: 1954

Location (Road - City - State - Country): SW Campus Way

Parking (If not at the bridge):: Not listed

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