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Celebrating our two-lane highways of yesteryear…And the joys of driving them today!
thermactor

Cumberland County Covered Bridge

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Did you know you could drive through a covered bridge on the old National Road in Illinois?

 

While out driving the National Road from Greenup to Greenville on Friday, my wife and I saw a sight to behold. On the old alignment coming out of Greenup to the west, we came upon an operational covered bridge! Concrete curbs constricted the road down to one lane, and across the bridge we rumbled. I noticed that the bridge was in excellent shape, and there was a parking lot and kiosk to the west of it. We pulled off and read the signage -- this bridge was built 8 years ago! Pretty incredible that the people of Cumberland County care enough about their history and the National Road to build something like this in this day and age.

 

Greenup_Bridge.jpg

 

The timbers are quite impressive, and the construction style is correct for a 100+ year-old covered bridge. The arch timbers are huge - I can't help but wonder where they got them. The bridge sits on the old alignment of 40, left very lightly travelled by the new 40 bypass to the south. This covered bridge replaced a 1920 concrete bridge (which, in a way, is a shame too...). The signs in the kiosk have a ton of pictures detailing the contruction of the bridge, as well as the poor condition of the old concrete bridge. There are sidewalks in the bridge, too, so feel free to walk through and look out the windows!

 

A hiking trailhead begins at the kiosk and observation deck area - I'll have to come back and check that out in nicer weather.

 

On another note... We ate dinner at Breite's Again in Greenville, taking advice from Diner Days in the magazine. Let me tell you - it was worth the trip entirely! The place is really neat, and the food is top notch and very reasonable. We loved the fried green tomatoes!

 

Wes

Edited by thermactor

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That bridge is built like a brick outhouse! I drove through it a couple years ago. Here's what it looks like inside.

 

08e_Inside_Cumberland_Bridge.jpg

 

The bridge it replaced was pretty unattractive, and I don't think it was much of a loss. I took a photo of the photo on the kiosk of the previous bridge.

 

08h_Concrete_bridge.jpg

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Did you know you could drive through a covered bridge on the old National Road in Illinois?

 

While out driving the National Road from Greenup to Greenville on Friday, my wife and I saw a sight to behold. On the old alignment coming out of Greenup to the west, we came upon an operational covered bridge!

 

 

Here's another one on the old National Road in Clark Center, IL (between Marshall and Martinsville). It's a recent build and nicely done.....Bliss

 

http://americanroadmagazine.com/forum/inde...=si&img=448

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Greenup is a very cool town, and the bridge adds to it. If I'm not mistaken, the bridge was built in Wisconsin and hauled to its location. Looks like it could use a new coat of Thompson's Water Seal on it. ;)

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Those are both cool bridges. There aren't many being built and when ever I see a "new" one I have to marvel awhile that the skills to build them can still be found. The most impressive one I've seen is the one in Bridgeton, Indiana, which was rebuilt in less than a year and a half after the existing one was burned. It's over 200 feet long and I believe it was built on site. As far as I can tell, it is an exact duplicate of the 1868 structure it replaced. Even with power saws and drills and other modern methods, building something like that is quite an accomplishment.

 

Ditto Pat's comment about Greenup being a cool town. All those balconies and a pretty neat museum, too.

 

I've only been to Breite's Again once and that was for breakfast. I really enjoyed it and am ready to go back for dinner.

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I've seen both the old and new Bridgeton bridges (used to live in that part of the world) and honestly, except for a couple minor details I thought the new bridge was the old, just scrubbed to within an inch of its life and repainted.

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