Carrollton bridge open for traffic
BARBOUR COUNTY — The Carrollton Covered Bridge opened for traffic this week after restoration of the historic span was completed by the West Virginia Division of Highways bridge crews from District 7.
The bridge, located above the Buckhannon River, was badly damaged by a fire in August of 2017, and restoration work got underway in July of last year.
The WVDOH originally planned to hire contractors to restore the historic structure, but decided it would be cheaper and faster for WVDOH bridge specialists to do the work themselves.
“I definitely knew our guys were capable of the work,” District 7 Bridge Engineer Chad Boram stated in a press release. “So, District 7 hired a consultant to come up with a plan and WVDOH bridge crews went to work restoring the span.”
The first stage of the restoration was a complete cleaning and assessment of the bridge to see which wooden components could be salvaged and which needed replaced.
WVDOH crews discovered the charred timbers were in worse shape than expected.
“From the time it burnt down, it sat out in the rain and snow for a couple of years,” Boram said. “It’s hard to tell how bad it is until you get into it.”
Unfortunately, most of the bridge’s truss work had to be replaced.
“That definitely wasn’t in the plan,” Boram said.
Crews eventually repaired the bridge’s top structure and installed new wooden siding, while a new steel roof was installed.
“It’s something all the guys are proud of,” Boram said.
The bridge was built in 1856 by brothers, Emmett and Daniel O’Brien. At 140 feet, it is one of the longest surviving covered bridges in West Virginia. The bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1981.