Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Why Are Covered Bridges Covered?

A good question asked by Jay!

Bridges were covered in order to protect the structural members or the trusses of the bridge from exposure to the harsh elements.

The superstructure of the bridge, all made of wood since wood was so plentiful in those areas back in the 1800’s when they were built, would rot in 9 or 10 years. The climate of the region is harsh by European standards, hot in the summer and icy in the winter, with a freeze-thaw cycle that would destroy stone paving. Covering the bridges protected the structural members underneath and extended the life of the bridge for over 75 years.

There are also modern day covered bridges built from modern construction materials. The current day covered bridges are built for the convenience of the users, or just to make a statement style-wise.

That is pretty much my understanding of why covered bridges were covered. Please feel free to add any further relevant information on this subject if you would like to.


  1. Aaaaah! That's why it was! Of course - I knew that the climate of Minnesota was severe compared to ours, but I didn't even think of that!

    Thanks! :)




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