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Gilkey Covered Bridge 37-22-04


Gilkey Covered Bridge

Photo taken by Michael Goff on March 20, 2010


BH Photo #161090


Street View 


The Gilkey Bridge spans Thomas Creek and until 1960, it proudly stood next to a covered railroad bridge.

Gilkey was once a town of some activity, as noted by a nearby sign: "Gilkey Station was established when the railroad arrived in 1880 and was named in honor of Allen and William Gilkey. Gilkey served as a shipping point for farm products." Just about all but the sign and the bridge are now gone, and the sign is totally faded.

The familiar swimming rope is tied to the framework of the bridge, and during the summer swimmers enjoy this area of Thomas Creek. Youngsters often grow tired of swinging on the rope and seek more excitement by climbing up to the roof and jumping into the cool water below.

In 1997, the bridge had to be closed due to damage caused by an overloaded vehicle. The load had overstressed the bridge and broke the timber shear keys in some of the lower chord joints. Temporary cables were installed to keep the bridge up under its own weight. Permanent repairs were designed and constructed in 1998 and the bridge was reopened to traffic.

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


Covered Howe through truss bridge over Thomas Creek on Gilkey Road
Linn County, Oregon
Under construction
Future prospects
Under reconstruction July 2017 (including removal from abutments)
Built 1939
Covered Howe through truss
Length of largest span: 120.1 ft.
Total length: 201.1 ft.
Deck width: 17.4 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 11.7 ft.
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on February 19, 1987
Approximate latitude, longitude
+44.68778, -122.90333   (decimal degrees)
44°41'16" N, 122°54'12" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
10/507660/4948271 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Average daily traffic (as of 2010)
Inventory numbers
OR 12943 (Oregon Dept. of Transportation structure number)
NRHP 87000016 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
BH 30077 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of July 2016)
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: 26.9 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • August 3, 2017: Updated by Alexander D. Mitchell IV: Under reconstruction off abutments as of August 2017
  • March 10, 2014: Updated by Dave King: Added NRHP info, street view & imported photos
  • April 5, 2010: Updated by Michael Goff: added bridge history and photos