|THE COVERED BRIDGES OF UNION COUNTY|
|Click either graphic above to download a pdf version of information on the bridges or a map with locations of bridges shown.|
Union County has five historic bridges of which four were built in the late 1860s and 1870s. This is well above the average for the state of Ohio. Four are still in use as part of the county highway system and are currently being well-maintained by the Union County Engineer. Union County currently has the sixth most covered bridges in Ohio.
Note: There were six historic bridges in Union County until August 1993. Ironically, while a reporter/photographer from The Columbus Dispatch was researching a story on the preservation of the Reed Bridge (near State Route 38), the bridge collapsed as the reporter and Union County Historical Society representatives were walking away. The photograph made the newspaper and helped create awareness of how vulnerable our historic structures are.
All four historical covered bridges in Union County were designed and built by
Reuben L. Partridge (1823-1900) and are based on a design he patented in 1872. Mr. Partridge lived in Marysville from 1836 until his death, which occurred as the result of falling from a bridge he was building north of Marysville. The Union County bridges and one in nearby Franklin County are the only remaining bridges built with Mr. Partridges patented design.
The Union County covered bridges all have “windows” cut into the sides,
which were not part of the original design. The addition of windows was done to increase visibility with the advent of automobile traffic. These windows have roofs or awnings to protect the trusses from the elements.
Also known as the Axe Handle Bridge
This historic bridge was built in 1873 and spans 114 of Little Darby Creek. The bridge was named in honor of Eliphas Bigelow, a nearby resident. In 1990 the bridge underwent an extensive renovation. Massive nail-laminated arches were seated into new concrete foundations. The arch system now carries the weight of traffic on this bridge.
Be sure to examine the inside of this remarkable bridge! The bridge was painted red in 2008.
This 94’ bridge spans Treacle Creek and was built in 1868 by Reuben Partridge.
There are canopies on both sides of the bridge and scrolls located at each end.
The bridge was originally located on State Route 4 and was moved prior to 1953
In 1961 the bridge underwent repairs and piers were added to give extra support. In 1977 a
“run around” was constructed for farm equipment and other large, heavy vehicles. In 1987 the bridge was rehabilitated.
Glue laminate girders were installed with glue laminated floor beams suspended from the girders.
This bridge was formerly in the location of the North Lewisburg Road Covered Bridge. It was designed and built by Reuben Partridge in 1868. The full-length canopy was added in 1937. In 1949, extensive repairs were made. Three 6 by 10 I-beams were placed under each corner span. It was also reinforced with plumb and anchor rods. In 2006 the 94 bridge was moved and rehabilitated. This historic bridge now rests on a multi-use train which begins in the village of North Lewisburg and ends at the bridge on the Union/Champaign County line near Inskeep-Cratty
Road. The bridge was painted red in 2007.
Spain Creek Bridge
Also known as the Inskeep-Cratty Road Bridge
This beautiful covered bridge spans 64 over Spain Creek. The bridge was designed and built by Reuben Partridge in the 1870s. Beltz Grist Mill on Big Darby Creek was one of the earliest built in this township. Farther downstream, the Wetaeo Mill was built in 1848, and Hanes Finley set up a steam power saw on the Milford-Allen Center Pike.
Spain Creek currently achieves criteria associated with the exceptional warm
water habitat and cold water habitat use designations by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.
North Lewisburg Bridge
In 2006 a new covered bridge was built over Big Darby Creek Scenic River. This new bridge is a modi-fied Pratt Truss with sub-structures built out of the creek.
The bridge is 135 in length with two lanes to accommodate recent increases in traffic.
Buck Run Road Bridge
This bridge replaces a steel Pratt bridge that was constructed in 1914. This new bridge, built in 2006, is a modified Pratt Truss and spans an impressive 160 in length.
This bridge is currently the longest single-span wooden bridge in Ohio. The new two-lane covered bridge was built to stand proudly for generations.
From the bridge one can enjoy beautiful vistas of the Big Darby Creek!
Streng Road Truss Bridge
This steel Pratt Truss bridge was built in 1914 and is presumed to have replaced a bridge that was likely destroyed in the flood of 1913. Union County received special recognition for the renovation of this bridge in 1993. All of the original ornamentation and decorative elements are still in place.
The bridge spans 200 over the Big Darby Creek and is officially listed as an Ohio Historic Bridge. This is the only non-covered bridge in the nation to have received this recognition.
Thompson Road Bridge
In 2010, a new bridge was built on Thompson Road replacing the 19213 bridge with a modern covered bridge in Mill Creek Township near the Delaware County line. In 1881, the first covered bridge was built on this location, but was destroyed in 1913. It is replaced by this modern day covered bridge that is much different than its predecessor, in that it has two lanes and can carry all modern-day traffic loads. The new bridge spans 125 feet. The inspiration for its architecture is the farm buildings in the area.