Covered bridge west of Greenup

Cumberland County Covered Bridge
Canon PowerShot S95

Here’s an oxymoron: “new covered bridge.” Yet here this one is. It was built in 2000 as a replica of an 1832 bridge that once stood here.

You’ll find it just west of Greenup, Illinois on the original alignment of US 40 and the National Road. It spans the Embarras (EM-ba-raw) River. That original covered bridge washed out in 1865. A steel replacement, I believe a Whipple truss, constructed in 1875 washed out in 1912. A girder bridge was completed in 1920 and served until flooding damaged a pier in 1996, rendering the bridge unsafe.

By this time, US 40 had long been rerouted around Greenup to the south. This crossing no longer carried a significant amount of traffic — 225 vehicles a day, at last count. The county got a grant to build this bridge as a tourist attraction.

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12 responses to “single frame: Cumberland County Covered Bridge”

  1. Michael McNeill Avatar

    What a strange looking bridge! I’m wondering why it was covered in the first instance.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      The trusses that bear the load are themselves wooden, and if left to the elements would deteriorate fairly quickly. The wooden cover protects the trusses. It is meant to be replaced from time to time when it rots.

  2. J P Avatar

    Sooo, with the history of bridges at this location, are the locals taking bets on when this one will wash out?

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I’ve had exactly the same thought.

    2. Khürt Williams Avatar

      Hopefully longer than it will take for the tax payers to forget they wasted money on building it.

  3. Marc Beebe Avatar

    That might be your best bridge picture of all. And that’s saying something!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Wow! I’m happy you like it. My favorite part about it is how I included in the frame the road trailing behind the bridge. I shot from this vantage point 3-4 times before I realized I could get that in, and then made this shot.

      1. Marc Beebe Avatar

        That definitely adds to it; you see it’s not just a bridge, but a road as well.
        I must take a picture of my bridge this Summer. For some reason I never have before, so you’ve inspired me.
        Yes, I own my own bridge. :D

  4. analogphotobug Avatar

    Ahhhh, makes me think of th last covered bridge that I photographed in the Adirondacks years ago. I should dig out my old transparencies and scan and post them.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I’d enjoy seeing them!

  5. Khürt Williams Avatar

    So, they wasted tax payer money on a “new” covered bridge as a tourist attraction?

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      They got a grant. This is a little-traveled road segment (since US 40 was moved to bypass the town); this little town needs all the help it can get to attract tourists.

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