April 17, 2013
The Irish Bend Covered Bridge in Corvallis is Oregon’s latest entry in the National Register of Historic Places.
Based on standard bridge plans developed by the Oregon State Highway Department the 1920s, Benton County constructed the Irish Bend Covered Bridge in 1954. The bridge is a 60-foot-long Howe truss with board-and-batten, painted wood siding, wood decking, and a cedar-shingle gable roof. Benton County originally built the bridge over the Willamette Slough on Irish Bend Road, in rural Benton County, approximately seven (7) miles northeast of Monroe, Oregon. Construction of a newer span and culverts in 1975 caused the bridge to be bypassed and it was subsequently dismantled by Benton County in 1988. The Irish Bend Covered Bridge was reassembled in 1989 by volunteers, including off-duty Benton County employees, OSU students and staff, and Covered Bridge Society of Oregon members as part of a community-wide preservation effort. It now carries the Campus Way bike path over Oak Creek, near the agricultural test barns of Oregon State University. The bridge currently sits in a pastoral location surrounded by farm fields, very similar to the bridge’s original setting.
Oregon’s State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation recommended the building’s nomination in February 2013. More than 550 historic Portland properties are now listed in the National Register, which is maintained by the National Park Service under the authority of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.
More information about the National Register and recent Oregon listings is online at www.oregonheritage.org (click on “National Register” at left of page).