The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Covered bridge series

March 7, 2009

Creek Road renovation work greatly strengthened bridge

CONNEAUT —The Creek Road Bridge, located on the western edge of Conneaut, is the county’s only extant covered bridge with an uncertain construction date. However, a brief news story in the Ashtabula Weekly Telegraph from Aug. 5, 1871, noted that county commissioners were putting up the abutment of a new bridge over Conneaut Creek at Amboy.

The 125-foot-long bridge stands 25 feet above Conneaut Creek and is the focal point of a popular fishing and hiking spot. Camp Peet, a Scout camp established in the 1920s, borders the creek at this point and provides hiking trails along the scenic Conneaut Creek.

The Creek Road bridge is a Town lattice, which, according to former Ashtabula County Engineer John Smolen, is a design hospitable to strengthening. And strengthening the old covered bridges so they can carry modern traffic is key to their survival.

Smolen, in a chapter written for an Ohio Historic Bridges book, notes that adding a mid-point support to an existing Town lattice span has the effect of quadrupling the carrying ability of the girder. This approach was used in the renovation of the Creek Road bridge, which has a wall-type pier at midpoint and steel frame to distribute the midspan load. The wall’s design is such that it directs the flow of the river; prior to renovation, steel beams were used for the support and created a collection point for debris washing down the creek.

The bridge received extensive renovation in 1994. During the project that cost approximately $50,000, county highway department crews replaced the deck and lower structural timbers, added a new floor and gave the bridge a new exterior. A re-dedication ceremony was held in September 1995, at which time it was opened to traffic.

The World Guide to Covered Bridges assigns the number 35-04-05 to this bridge.

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