Thursday, May 18, 2017

10 fun facts about Humpback Bridge, Covington, Va.

Nestled in Covington, Virginia you can find Humpback Bridge. It is one of a handful of these old-timey bridges left in the state. One of Alleghany County’s treasures, it’s a nice place to visit.

Want to know more about this historic bridge? Read on.


10 fun facts about Humpback Bridge


1. The current Humpback Bridge was built in 1857. It was originally part of the James River and Kanawha Turnpike. According to the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), this bridge succeeds three other previous ones built at this location.

2. Humpback Bridge crosses over Dunlap Creek. It spans 110 feet across the water.

3. According to a plaque placed at the site, the bridge is constructed of “hand hewn” timbers.

4. The first bridge at the site was built in the 1820s and was washed away after a May 1837 flood. The second bridge at this location also fell victim to flood in July of 1842. The third “gave way” in 1856, reports VDOT. The current bridge had a close brush with floodwaters in June of 2016 but was repaired and reopened.


5. Its design is called “Humpback” because it is 4 feet taller in the center of the bridge. According to a report by The Roanoke Times, in the past engineers thought putting a roof on a bridge would prolong its lifespan, however, with rising floodwaters it didn’t help, so they began implementing the “humpback” design to raise the centers of bridges.

6. Humpback Bridge was closed to vehicles in 1929. Today visitors can walk across the bridge and experience a feeling of days gone by.

7. There is a ton of graffiti inside the bridge, going back decades, perhaps more than a century. The oldest I spotted was maybe 70 years old. (Did not have the opportunity to really examine it all though).


8. Over time, the bridge stopped being utilized for its original purpose. It was, however, reportedly used by a farmer to store hay for a time in the mid-20th century.

9. A major restoration took place in the 1950s and two local agencies, the Business and Professional Women's Club of Covington and the Covington Chamber of Commerce, raised enough money to get Humpback Bridge restored. It was restored once again in 2013.

10. The bridge today is designated as a Virginia Historic Landmark and sits on a 5-acre park. It is one of seven covered bridges left in Virginia, only five are opened to the public.

Bonus fun fact: Humpback Bridge is a designated "LOVE" location. This means it is one of many landmarks in Virginia where giant artworks pop up to show "love is at the heart of every Virginia vacation". (Read more about this campaign here). Here's my photo:



You can find Humpback Bridge in Covington, Virginia. It is literally minutes off I-64. Take exit 10 and you’ll be there in about five minutes,it was about a half-mile to get there. I had heard so much about this bridge and couldn’t believe my luck when I happened to be passing by on my way to Beckley, West Virginia and saw the sign for Humpback Bridge.  I just had to stop to see it. My stop was in February and hope to get back down there again someday, perhaps in the spring, summer or fall when there is foliage. I'm betting the views are stunning!

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