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Dorena Covered Bridge 37-20-23


Dorena Covered Bridge

Photo taken by Michael Goff on March 20, 2010


BH Photo #159778

Street Views 


When Dorena Dam was built in 1946, plans were made to span the Row River at the upper end of the reservoir. Government Road along the west bank was completed in 1949, and the Dorena Bridge was built a year later, after the reservoir was filled, at a cost of $16,547. Miller Sorenson, Lane County bridge foreman, supervised the construction.

The bridge is often referred to as the "Star Bridge" because it provided access to the nearby Star Ranch. Once a large and proud estate, it has been reduced to about 100 acres. The state-designed bridge was bypassed in 1974 by a concrete span. Repairs were made to the structure in 1987, as part of the county's "mothball" plan for covered bridges. The asphalt flooring was removed, chords fumigated and other rehabilitation work was completed.

The original town site, named for Dora Burnette and Rena Martin (by combining parts of their first names) is underwater at the bottom of the reservoir.

A railroad in the vicinity served the mining camps until the gold mines played out. The lumber industry developed and used the rails to ship logs to Cottage Grove. Until 1987, the rails were used by a steam-powered excursion train. The cost of liability insurance increased too much to keep it going, and only freight traffic passes today.

Lane County requested and received grants from the Oregon Covered Bridge Program totaling $59,000. These funds were used in the 1996 reconstruction of Dorena Bridge to create a wayside park. The project included replacement of the substructure, replacement of approach spans and extensive repairs to the covered span. When the house was resided, windows were installed for light and improved air flow.

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


Covered Howe through truss bridge over Row River on Shoreview Drive
Dorena, Lane County, Oregon
Open to traffic
Built 1949; rehabilitated 1995
- Miller Sorensen
Covered Through Howe truss
Length of largest span: 105.0 ft.
Total length: 170.9 ft.
Deck width: 22.0 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 15.7 ft.
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on November 29, 1979
Also called
Star Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+43.73750, -122.88389   (decimal degrees)
43°44'15" N, 122°53'02" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
10/509350/4842724 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Blue Mountain
Average daily traffic (as of 2010)
Inventory numbers
OR 18139 (Oregon Dept. of Transportation structure number)
NRHP 79002086 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
BH 30052 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of September 2018)
Overall condition: Poor
Superstructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 39.3 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • April 15, 2018: New photos from Richard Doody
  • March 10, 2014: Updated by Dave King: Added NRHP info & imported photos
  • April 21, 2010: New Street View added by Michael Goff