With 20 covered bridges, Lane County has the distinction of possessing more covered bridges than any other county west of the Mississippi. Seventeen of these bridges are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Covered Bridge Brochure
Covered bridges were constructed to withstand heavy rains and salty sea air. High-quality timber was more accessible in this area than was more costly steel and concrete. Covered bridges are similar in design to steel truss bridges, however, the shortage of steel during World War I contributed to the need to use wood as bridge building material. House-type structures over these wooden bridges protect the wood trusses and floor planking from the elements and more than doubles the life expectancy of the bridge. As early as 1918, plans for covered bridges had become standardized to include open windows for light and ventilation together with such features as laminated floors and interior whitewashing. The covered bridges still standing represent many hours of skilled hand labor.