Horse Creek Bridge
World Guide Number: 37-10-12
Another story of salvation for one of Oregonís covered bridges can be found in this 105 ft. span which now traverses Myrtle Creek at Millsite Park. Iíll let the citizens of the town of Myrtle Creek tell the story in thier own words. The following is from a legend posted on the bridge at its reopening:
This reconstruction project is dedicated to those individuals, civic organizations and corporations that have donated materials, time and equipment to make possible the renaissance of one of Oregon's truly historic structures. Also to the citizens of this community for displaying the support vital to any such project.
The Horse Creek Covered Bridge was constructed in 1930 featuring the Howe Truss Design. The bridge was located on Horse Creek Road in the vicinity of the McKenzie River Bridge. The Horse Creek Bridge was removed for salvage by Lane County in December of 1987 and given to the City of Cottage Grove. As Cottage Grove had no intentions of reconstructing the bridge and Myrtle Creek showed and interest in doing so, Cottage Grove gave the structure to Myrtle Creek.
The project to restore the bridge started in April of 1990, when volunteers moved the bridge materials from Cottage Grove to Myrtle Creek. One of the basic components of the structure, the upper cords, were found to contain dry rot and had to be replaced. In June of 1990, two Douglas fir trees, 80' in length, were harvested and milled by Elof Grandburg and his Alaskan Mint Mill.
The hand hewn lower cords were blocked up on level ground and truss members were placed and temporarily supported to receive the upper cords. In August of 1990, utility crews assisted with the placement of the top cords. Work continued on the framework through the winter of 1990 and in June of 1991, the super structure was moved into place to span the stream of Myrtle Creek. Concrete piers were constructed, and the structure was lowered into place. The Myrtle Creek Volunteer Fire Department massed together to place the decking on the bridge in July of 1991.
Funds were generated for the roofing material by selling sheets. The name of the person making the donation was placed on the underneath side of the sheet and can be seen from the inside of the structure. City forces and volunteers placed the siding material and painted the structure in the sprint of 1993.
To view the bridge take Interstate 5 to the Myrtle Creek Exit. The bridge is downtown in Millsite Park. Don't miss Myrtle Creek's other covered bridge, the Neal Lane Bridge. And have some lunch at the Big Elk Cafe while you're there!