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Erby

Kentucky's Disappearing Covered Bridges (A ByWay)

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Pretty cool. We don't need covered bridges around here, but I have an odd fascination with old iron bridges. It started when I noticed an old bridge plate at an inspection and the seller of the home offered it to me for $20. (It was a rusty silver-painted piece when I got it.)

Since then I always note the old bridges around where I am working and visit them when possible.

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Very nice. Very.

Have you ever been up into Indiana to the Covered Bridge Festival? It's over SE of Terra Haute; there's about 30 bridges left, and they are spectacular.

If you ever get the chance, it's worth the drive. I think it is one of the largest collections of covered bridges remaining in North America.

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Nice pics of the covered bridge and nice plaque!

Since I was a kid, I've been fascinated with bridges and in my travels will often stop and check one out if time allows. I spent a lot of time on The Northampton Street Bridge as a child. My dad was a 'bridge cop'. Basically, he sat in the booth and watched for oversized vehicles, and depending on which side of the bridge he was working, took hourly readings of the river level and changed the overhead lights to reassign traffic lanes when a train passed a nearby crossing. What a feeling of power this 8 year old felt when his dad let him change the lights and crank down the cable to read the river level. I can still feel the bridge oscillating and vibrating from the movement of the vehicles. It was a living thing.

That's only the second bridge to span the river at that point. The first was a covered bridge built by Timothy Palmer in 1805. It was torn down in 1894 to make way for the present bridge which was built in 1895. In 1955, the center of the bridge was torn away in a flood. Amazingly, they repaired it instead of replacing it. Ironically, much of the debris that hit it and did the damage was from a covered bridge located a few dozen miles upstream. That bridge, the Portland-Columbia Bridge was the last remaining covered bridge on the Delaware. So now you know!

Here's a great bridge resource site: http://bridgehunter.com/help/about

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That's really, really cool Joe, I love that bridge. I like seeing it at night from the sky cam on the local weather channel too.

The 12 remaining covered bridges in Bucks County, PA (there used to be over 50) are all of "Town truss" construction. There's only about 30 of that type left. I drive over/through the Knecht's covered bridge twice almost every day.

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Yeah, I do Bill. But they're big. Have a fast connection.

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Just don't expect me to argue the type of construction with you. I don't know it.

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My old boss, Fordam Bixler, who owned Orr's Department Stores willed me his photographic equipment, as well as all the slides and negatives he took over the years. He was also a private pilot.

I dug out an aerial shot he took of the Northampton Street Bridge shortly after the flood. It's a crappy scan of contact print I made years ago. I never got around to making too many enlargements from his negative collection. Still, It shows just how badly wounded this bridge was only to make a full recovery. Amazing.

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