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Irish Bend Covered Bridge 37-02-09


Irish Bend Covered Bridge

Over Oak Creek on the Oregon State University Campus

Photo taken by Tina Goff in January 2012

BH Photo #223273

Street View 


The bridge was built using a standard Highway Division design dating back to the 1920's. Following its construction in 1954, the bridge provided access across the Willamette Slough on Irish Bend Road, approximately 15 miles south of Corvallis. Following installation of two large culverts and realignment of the road in 1975, the Irish Bend covered span languished until it was dismantled in 1988.

The span may originally have been constructed over the Long Tom River about 30 miles to the south and later moved to the Irish Bend site, but research on this issue is not yet completed.

Various plans had been proposed for use of the bridge, including floating it downriver to be relocated to a new site. Through negotiations an agreement was reached between Benton County officials and Oregon State University to reconstruct it on university property in Corvallis

The Irish Bend Advisory Committee raised over $30,000, with Benton County providing an equal amount in matching funds, for the relocation of the span. Because no maintenance had been performed for more than fifteen years, many of the timbers had rotted. New stringers were donated by a local mill, and an engineering firm provided the foundation without charge.

The bridge site is part of a path through the research farm between 35th and 53rd Streets on the west side of the OSU campus. While the property is owned by the university, maintenance will be carried out by the Benton County Parks Department, since the bridge is part of a bicycle and pedestrian path along Oak Creek.

(Reference: Roofs Over Rivers, by Bill and Nick Cockrell)

Maxwell Photo Description 

This is the Irish Bend Covered Bridge (No. 37-02-09 in the World Guide) in Benton County, Oregon as seen in July 1957. It is a Howe bridge built in 1954. The microfilm records at ODOT state it was built in 1938, prompting the question: was it rebuilt in 1954? Its length is 60 feet in one span. The bridge has an aluminum roof and wooden sides. Irish Bend gets its name form a tight bend in the Willamette River so named because a number of Irish families took up homesteads there about 1860. This covered bridge originally crossed a slough running more-or-less parallel with, but between the Willamette and Long Tom Rivers, on Irish Bend Road near Monroe. In 1988 the bridge was carefully dismantled, to make way for a modern concrete span. Many of the original parts were reassembled on new donated piers at the Oregon State University agricultural site in Corvallis. It is presently enjoyed as a pedestrian and bike path over Oak Creek.

Source: Oregon State Archives, Salem Public Library, #4764


Howe through truss bridge over Oak Creek on Midge Cramer Path
Corvallis, Benton County, Oregon
Open to pedestrians
Built 1921 at another site, Relocated to Irish Bend Road 1954, Closed 1975, Relocated to OSU location 1988
Housed timber Howe through truss
Span length: 60.0 ft.
Total length: 60.0 ft.
Deck width: 17.2 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 15.0 ft.
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on March 27, 2013
Also called
Oak Creek Covered Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+44.56654, -123.30081   (decimal degrees)
44°33'60" N, 123°18'03" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
10/476113/4934844 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory numbers
NRHP 13000117 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
BH 50924 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • April 10, 2018: New photos from Richard Doody
  • March 9, 2014: Photos imported by Dave King
  • April 4, 2013: New Street View added by Mike Goff
  • May 10, 2012: New photos from Larry Matthews
  • January 12, 2012: Essay added by Michael Goff