Bridgeport Covered Bridge, South Yuba River State Park

Penn Valley, CA

Originally constructed in 1862 as a toll crossing for gold miners over the south fork of the Yuba River, the Bridgeport Covered Bridge was in dire need of a structural retrofit after a 2013 condition assessment. Temporarily stabilized in 2013, a grassroots movement enabled funding for the retrofit to be secured in 2018. The historic bridge was designed as a Howe Truss with an auxiliary Burr arch; a structural system originally patented in 1817!  Advanced analytical modeling was required to study the performance of this system and determine viable rehabilitation measures while preserving the historic character of the original design. Upon completion, pedestrians and covered wagons will again be able to cross the Yuba River as they did over 150 years ago when the bridge first opened. 

Quick Facts

  • Size: 233 foot span; 16 feet wide
  • Architect: California State Parks
  • Temporary stabilization of the bridge was achieved using high strength rods coupled to steel beams and secured by concrete "dead-man" anchors
  • Longest single-span wooden covered bridge west of the Mississippi
  • Construction Cost: $4,000,000
  • Contractor: TBD
  • Funding for the rehabilitation of the bridge was included in the 2018 state budget by Governor Jerry Brown
  • Many components of the bridge were replaced when the bridge failed in a flood in 1992

Photo credit: Buehler Engineering, Inc.