VOLGA, W.Va. (WBOY) — Work on restoring West Virginia’s third-oldest covered bridge is making good progress, the West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH) announced in a press release Monday.
The bridge was badly damaged in an arson attack in 2017 but opened after minor repairs to the modern bridge superstructure.
WVDOH crews started the restoration project with a pressure washing on July 11. The WVDOH said about half a dozen crewmembers have been working on the project steadily since then, cutting and shaping new bridge beams and replacing burnt timbers.
WVDOH District 7 Bridge Engineer Chad Boram said in the release that the main wooden arch can be saved, but “a very good portion of the truss is going to have to be replaced.”
According to the WVDOH, the bridge is one of the longest surviving covered bridges in West Virginia at 140. It was built in 1856 by brothers Emmett and Daniel O’Brien and crosses the Buckhannon River near Carrollton and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1981.
Boram said he hopes to complete restoration work on the bridge by the spring of 2023. The WVDOH said the $1 million project is funded entirely by federal tax dollars.