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)
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