Nelson Mountain Bridge – Lane County

Bridge Over Troubled Waters Tuesday Returns – Week Eighteen!  Nelson Mountain Bridge also known as Lake Creek Bridge is located on a route I was driving west of Eugene – Nelson Mountain Road to Old Stagecoach Road loop.  It was actually located on Nelson Mountain Road, and was a real surprise to see there.  Though initially the construction seemed unremarkable and similar to many of the bridges I’ve seen once I was close, it was obvious that there are many several differences.

How do I find Nelson Mountain Bridge?

This is a great question – It’s one of the very few things I couldn’t locate on a common mapping program embedded below.  I actually took the opportunity to add the name to the geographical coordinates – that’s why below you may not see the bridge name listed – just a longitude and latitude.

I was driving an unfamiliar vehicle and the weather wasn’t cooperating very much, but it was nice to be out exploring in a different area.  The day was drizzly and uncooperative, but it was a great time finding new unexplored areas and especially new bridges.

Arriving at Nelson Mountain Bridge

I parked a little ways away and made my way up to the bridge – the one thing I enjoy particularly about this season is all the colors on the leaves on the trees.  It’s just breathtaking and in particular along this road.

Nelson Mountain Bridge provides a beautiful contrast to the fall colors of the leaves during fall
The trees of Oregon are all showing their beauty before commencing their slumber for the winter, the bridge can easily be seen
Nelson Mountain Bridge was built in nineteen twenty-eight and restored in nineteen eighty-three
Nelson Mountain Bridge was built in nineteen twenty-eight and had some major restoration work done in nineteen eighty-four

Inside Nelson Mountain Bridge

As I made my way inside the bridge I noticed that the only light to be seen from the outside – except the entrances are the narrow horizontal windows that are in many of the bridges I’ve seen.

Supporting timbers can be seen as well as the narrow horizontal windows
The large supporting timbers can be seen in this picture.  The windows are also visible and are similar to many of the windows I’ve seen on other bridges
The roof inside looks very new and is constructed with a great deal of complexity
The roof inside Nelson Mountain Bridge is very complex – it looks like it’s been replaced as of the date of the most recent renovation – nineteen eighty-four and except for the crossmember shows very little evidence of age

An Interesting Feature I’ve Never Seen Before!

The roadway on the Nelson Mountain Bridge is actually concrete!  I’ve never seen this before and according to my research was added during the renovations in nineteen eighty-four.  It’s incredible to think of this bridge as having an actual concrete deck.

The concrete roadway is a very unusual feature I’ve never seen in a wooden cover red bridge before
The concrete roadway in Nelson Mountain Bridge is just amazing – I’ve never seen a feature of a bridge that is similar to this – normally when the bridges are restored the original designs are maintained
Inside the Nelson Mountain Bridge weathering on the panels can be seen
The inside wood panelings look vintage and do show some significant signs of weathering

Outside the Bridge

I always try to get a picture of the area around the bridges I visit and the super smooth water around the Nelson Mountain Bridge was just gorgeous.  Since there was so much undergrowth I didn’t have a chance to get a closer picture, but the view was still very pretty.

The view from the bridge looking at the creek
Nelson Mountain Bridge crosses lake creek and is just beautiful and super smooth when I was there

Summary and Rating

I’ve decided the best thing to do is to review each bridge on it’s own merits – Nelson Mountain Bridge is a bit similar to many of the other bridges I’ve seen already, but it definitely stands on it’s won merits.  It’s a beautiful example of historic covered bridges in Oregon.  It deserves the four and a half Heywillamettes I’ll award it.  It’s fairly close to another covered b ridge which I’ll post about next week –  Wildcat Bridge.

4_5-HeyWillamettes

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