CHARLESTON, W.Va – Restoration work is almost ready to begin on the historic Carrollton Covered Bridge in Barbour County, West Virginia Department of Transportation officials announced Wednesday.
The bridge, the third-oldest surviving covered bridge in West Virginia, was damaged by a fire in August 2017. The blaze destroyed much of the outer covering of the bridge, but left the basic structure mostly intact.
The fire was later determined to be arson.
The West Virginia Division of Highways was able to reopen the bridge to traffic in September 2017 after making minor repairs to the deck and structure to ensure the bridge was safe. The DOH then hired a consultant to best determine how to restore the historic bridge.
Initial plans were for a consultant to do the restoration work, but in November 2020 it was decided to leave the work to DOH work crews, who could restore the bridge more economically.
DOH has since been securing bids for materials necessary to restore the span.
“We’re committed to getting this bridge rebuilt,” said DOH District 7 Engineer Brian Cooper. “We appreciate the public being patient as we’ve worked out the plans to get it done.”
In late May, Tiger Diversified LLC, in Upshur County, was awarded a contract to provide the timber for the restoration project. On Thursday, June 24, 2021, DOH received a bid of $400,000 to provide the scaffolding and rigging system necessary to do the work.
If the bid is accepted, restoration work on the bridge could begin quickly, Cooper said.
The bridge was built in 1856 by Emmett and Daniel O’Brien, and crosses the Buckhannon River near the town of Carrollton. At 140 feet long, it is the second-longest surviving covered bridge in West Virginia.
The bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1981.