Crawfordsville Covered Bridge

The Crawfordsville Covered Bridge is near Crawfordsville Oregon along the “Halsey-Sweet Home Highway,” or Highway 228. It crosses the Calapooia River, a tributary of the Willamette River that is named after the Native American tribe that lived in this area.

Crawfordsville Covered Bridge

View of the Calapooia River from the Crawfordsville Covered Bridge near Crawfordsville Oregon

The bridge was built in 1932 in the “Linn County Open Truss” style. This style is notable from other styles as it has a narrow slit of windows on each side.

Crawfordsville Covered Bridge

Closeup photo of the truss system in the Crawfordsville Covered Bridge near Crawfordsville Oregon

Crawfordsville Covered Bridge

View of inside the Crawfordsville Covered Bridge near Crawfordsville Oregon

When the road here became a highway the bridge was transferred to the Highway Commission. The portals at each end were modified from a rounded look to a square look to allow larger vehicles through. In 1963 Linn County residents requested the bridge to be bypassed for even larger vehicles. The Oregon’s State Highway Commission did so, and passed ownership of the bridge back to Linn County.

Unfortunately the bridge was not kept up during this time. Director Irwin Allen, famous for a host of 1970’s “disaster movies,” used the bridge as a prop in “The Flood.” The film crew repainted the bridge for this particular disaster.

Crawfordsville Covered Bridge

View of the Crawfordsville Covered Bridge near Crawfordsville Oregon

Unfortunately the bridge was still not kept up. By 1986 it was almost totally covered in brush and black berries. A group of local citizens rallied together to clean it up. This action led to more renovation in 1987. The Community Services Consortium granted $23,000 in materials and labor to fix up the bridge. The CSC was a Federally funded program to help with job training and unemployment, so no doubt the a few people got some jobs working on it.

Near the north side of the bridge access is a little park called “Robinette Wayside.” The Robinette Family and the Crawfordsville Missionary Alliance Church Youth Group acquired the property in 1990 to make into an picnic area. This spot is officially labeled Crawfordsville Covered Bridge Wayside on the Linn County Parks and Recreation Page, but it has a couple of nice picnic tables next to the river and the bridge.

The flood of 1996 severely damaged the bridge, but the Oregon Covered Bridge Program gave $24,000 to repair the bridge. The bridge still plays host to the Annual Bridge Day in August of year year, and provides a beautiful backdrop for tourists through the area.

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