The City of Cottage Grove selected OBEC to provide design and construction engineering for the dismantling and subsequent rebuilding of the Chambers Covered Bridge.
The 92-foot-long timber structure, originally built in 1925, has several differentiating factors that made it critical to preserve. It is the only remaining covered railroad bridge in Oregon and one of only eight in the nation. The structure also holds the record for the tallest covered bridge and is the only one in the state with a four-leaf truss.
While rehabilitation plans developed, a windstorm caused the structure to tilt further to the side causing concern that the bridge could completely fail. The City declared an emergency to hasten restoration efforts to dismantle in early spring rather than waiting for summer. Due to the emergency declaration, OBEC environmental staff worked closely with the permitting agencies and the Federal Highway Administration to expedite environmental clearance and get the necessary permits to dismantle the bridge. OBEC's permitting effort and coordination resulted in permit authorizations and clearances being received within two weeks of the project being declared an emergency.
OBEC also partnered with Hamilton Construction Company to expedite engineering services for the temporary support and dismantling of the bridge that was too fragile to move in one piece.
The structure has since been restored using as much of the historic and original fabric as possible, and now serves as an interpretive center as well as a pedestrian and bicycle crossing across the Coast Fork of the Willamette River.
Watch the bridge move into place: