CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia Division of Highways announced that the cleaning work for the restoration of the historic Carrollton Covered Bridge will begin in the coming weeks, starting on July 11.

According to the DOH, the Barbour County bridge is the third oldest of 17 surviving covered bridges in West Virginia. It was almost destroyed by a fire in August 2017, but most of the basic structure, thankfully, remained intact. The bridge was reopened to traffic in September 2017 after minor repairs, but it will now get a full restoration.

“We’re finally at the point where we can begin restoration of this historic structure,” said Brian Cooper, P.E., District 7 Engineer. “We appreciate the public’s patience with this project.”

Consultants Mead & Hunt, who have done extensive work on the Philippi Covered Bridge, installed bracing to keep the bridge safe. Tiger Diversified LLC was awarded a contract in May 2021 to provide the timber for the restoration. Contractors for Span 1, LLC just finished installing scaffolding and rigging to replace the bridge’s wooden siding and portions of the upper superstructure.

With the bones of the bridge complete, District 7 bridge department will begin replacing all the wood.

“Our crews don’t typically do this kind of bridge work, but they’re excited about it,” Cooper said. “They’re looking forward to having a part in the history of the bridge.”

The bridge was built in 1856 by brothers Emmett and Daniel O’Brien and crosses the Buckhannon River near Carrollton. At 140 feet, it is one of the longest surviving covered bridges in West Virginia.

The bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1981.

District 7 hopes to complete the restoration by fall.