No votes cast

Coyote Creek Covered Bridge 37-20-02


Coyote Creek Covered Bridge

Photo taken by Mike Goff in April 2012


BH Photo #230535



The Coyote Creek Bridge was originally part of Territorial Road (1851) and was included in the state secondary road system. The bridge was bypassed when truck traffic became too heavy and a more direct highway route was constructed.

Heavy snowfall severely damaged the bridge in 1969 as the weight of more than three feet of snow collapsed the entire roof. Chainsaws were used to saw off the rafters, and the bridge remained uncovered until early spring when county crews reroofed the structure.

The Coyote Creek Bridge is often called Battle Creek Bridge because it is located on Battle Creek Road. Others refer to it as the Swing Log Bridge because it was called that many years ago.

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


Covered Howe through truss bridge over Coyote Creek on Battle Creek Road
Lane County, Oregon
Open to traffic
Built 1922
Covered Howe through truss
Length of largest span: 60.0 ft.
Total length: 105.0 ft.
Deck width: 15.1 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 15.0 ft.
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on November 29, 1979
Also called
Battle Creek Road Bridge
Swing Log
Approximate latitude, longitude
+43.96972, -123.31861   (decimal degrees)
43°58'11" N, 123°19'07" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
10/474442/4868559 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Average daily traffic (as of 2010)
Inventory numbers
WGCB 37-20-02 (World Guide to Covered Bridges number)
NRHP 79002084 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
ORNBI 39C409408200011 (Oregon bridge number on the National Bridge Inventory)
BH 30014 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of October 2018)
Overall condition: Fair
Superstructure condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 30.8 (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 date & imported photos
  • April 24, 2012: New photos from Mike Goff
  • March 29, 2010: New photo from Michael Goff
  • March 17, 2009: New photos from Michael Goff



Coyote Creek Covered Bridge
Posted March 11, 2013, by Mike Goff (michael [dot] goff [at] hotmail [dot] com)

The truss arrangement for the Coyote Creek Bridge is the same as the 1929 - Standard 60-foot Howe Truss from the Oregon Highway Department. However, the member designs are different and no cast iron connection blocks are used on the Coyote Creek structure.

The main difference between a Howe and a multiple king post from what I understand is that the tension members at the panel points in a multiple king post are timber, while the Howe has iron/steel members. This may be an over simplification, but that is the main point I have noticed.

I believe Will is by far the most knowledgeable on this subject since he actually spends a great deal of time rehabilitating and constructing the magnificent structures.

Coyote Creek Covered Bridge
Posted March 10, 2013, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Not sure of the origin Will...I've heard that term since I was a teenager. I couldn't tell you any details as i haven't been there in forever.

It's my understanding that the Comstock Covered Bridge in Connecticut may also be a Howe single, although it appears that if it was it has been modified. This bridge was recently restored and also has a covered pony truss approach.

Coyote Creek Covered Bridge
Posted March 10, 2013, by Will Truax (Bridgewright [at] gmail [dot] com)

Interesting Tony - I'd not come across such a variant before, or the term. What is the derivation of the named type? Do we know who coined the term and when?

No close ups of the details to tell, are the Angle Blocks wooden or cast iron?

The WG calls it a Modified Howe, though it of course is not free from errors and omissions.

Coyote Creek Covered Bridge
Posted March 10, 2013, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

We have one of these in Indiana that is referred to as a "Howe Single".


Coyote Creek Covered Bridge
Posted March 10, 2013, by Will Truax (Bridgewright [at] gmail [dot] com)

A question worthy of asking, because it is a bit hard to categorize. The asking though, (in this instance at least) perhaps raises more questions than answers.

While many if not most Wooden patent trusses are liberally peppered with iron, including large Rods, and there were simple short span “King-Rod” trusses , I know of none to have been greater than two panels. No “MKP” variants seem to have had that name appended to them. This truss type always has wooden tensile elements which define the panel points.

That said, despite Coyote Creek everywhere being described as a Howe, it lacks a number of design details common to this truss type. Foremost among these are Counter Braces – While bridge engineers and builders have long discussed and even argued the need for their presence in panels towards the end of any given span, (while yes there is little reason for them in conveying loading in end or even second panels, as a builder I would argue that their presence is useful and necessary in both developing and maintaining camber) I know of no other named example which lacks Counters in the panels at mid-span. Doubled Braces are also absent in this truss, as are Angle Blocks / Shoes at the truss terminus – Always present in Howe's, in this instance the end panel Braces appear to be heeled into the Bottom Chord in a wood to wood joint.

Howe Truss panels which lack Counter Braces, can and do appear MKP like, they are none the less part of Howe type trusses...

The Coyote is however, in my opinion, not – It is a mongrel variant, more akin to a Modified Queen than a Howe.

Nelson does not seem to speak to it in his “A Century of ” - I am uncertain if Coyote Creek is like so many others, one of the State Highway Commissions standardized designs. Being part of Oregon's 20th Century wooden bridge legacy, somewhere in the record there is likely to be some sense of what its designer named it as being in Truss Type.

Coyote Creek Covered Bridge
Posted March 7, 2013, by Rebecca Burrow (rgburrow [at] gmail [dot] com)

Why is this bridge (and others like it) considered a Howe Truss and not a Multiple Kingpost? Thanks.