Mosby Creek Bridge – Lane County

Bridge Over Troubled Waters Tuesdays Week Four.  It’s become a little difficult to find more covered bridges in the northern part of the Willamette Valley where I live, so I had to schedule a trip to the southern part where my folks live to visit some of the bridges there.  There are quite a few near the southern end of the Willamette Valley so I decided to map a route through Cottage Grove and visit as many as I could.  One of my favorite bridges of the trip, and one of the two that I visited that could still be driven through turned out to be Mosby Creek Bridge.

This bridge was built in nineteen twenty and is still able to be driven through.  I found it easily and was very happy it was one of the drive-through bridges – those are starting to be my favorites.  It turns out (as I discovered during my researches) that this bridge was the oldest one in Oregon and the only one that was still being used daily as a drive through bridge.  The openings are half-circle arches and are beautiful!  Pretty impressive for an almost one-hundred year old bridge!!

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I parked the car and walked back and the sign above confirmed nineteen twenty as the year it was built.

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Inside the construction was similar to many of the other bridges but it was narrower than many of the others – barely larger than the width of a car.  I was nervous while I was taking pictures that a car would pass and not see me as the interior of the bridge was a little dark and outside it was pretty sunny.

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The bridge inside was remarkably cool – outside the air was pretty warm inside the covered bridge it was delightfully cool, and the differential caused a nice wind to happen as well.  Unlike most of the other bridges there wasn’t much of a gap in the slats looking down, so nothing could be seen from inside looking down, however some light could be seen on either side coming up from the creek below.

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According to my research the roof had been recently rebuilt and I noticed that despite the relatively recent completion of that the county kept with the original esthetic and saved the look and feel of the original roof.  Like many of the covered bridges the interior roof was fantastically complex and almost defies explanation.  The gap between the roof and the wall represents most of the space where light enters the bridge, it’s not a lot, but it’s enough.  Unfortunately, there aren’t any windows (like several that I’ve seen so far) for visitors to see out of while traveling along the bridge – most likely to preserve the interior of the bridge itself.

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I’m not certain if there have been incidents where vehicles have damaged the bridge, but to minimize damage there are very nice rails and guards along the inside and outside of the bridge.  I got a nice low-angle view of the rails and entrance to the bridge – you can see the rails continue from before the entrance through the bridge past the end.

The exterior has also been very well maintained and in my research I learned that the county maintains the bridge – which is a fantastic thing, as many of the bridges I’ve seen rely upon fund raising campaigns and private donations.  It’s good to see one that is supported by local government.  This is a great little bridge and worthy of the four and a half Heywillamettes and definitely merit a look if you’re on a tour of the Cottage Grove covered bridges, you’ll be happy you took the time to visit them all!!

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