McKee Covered Bridge

WGN – 37-15-06 McKee Covered Bridge – Oregon – Built in 1917 by Jason Hartman in Jackson County spanning Applegate River on McKee Br. Rd., single span, 122 feet long, Howe trusses

Closed foot bridge. The bridge was built on land donated by Adelbert “Deb” McKee in 1917. It was originally built to serve the Blue Ledge Copper Mine near the California border. When constructed, the western approach to the McKee Bridge was all fill dirt, not timbers and planks as you see it now. In 1927, a severe flood nearly washed the bridge away. Fortunately, the water washed away the fill providing a wider path so much of the current bypassed the bridge. Jackson County reconstructed the approach with timbers and planks. In 1956, the bridge was closed to motor vehicle traffic after large logging trucks became too heavy to be using the wooden structure. A new concrete bridge was constructed a short distance upstream. A concrete bridge replaced the Cameron covered bridge at the same time. Since then, McKee Bridge has been limited to pedestrian traffic. Jackson County continued to maintain the structure until 1987 when significant repairs were necessary. The county had invested $40,000 two years earlier to replace the approaches and could not fund the next round of repairs. The community formed the “Save McKee Bridge” committee and raised the necessary money. In 1999, the McKee Bridge Historical Society (MBHS) was created. Since then MBHS volunteers have been maintaining the bridge and raising funds for repairs.

 

PHOTOS BY: BILL BOWSER….FROM CINCINNATI, OHIO

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