Meems Bottom Covered Bridge
The Meems Bottom Covered Bridge, built in 1894, is the most recent of four bridges. Stretching across the North Fork of the Shenandoah River, it is the longest covered bridge in Virginia at 204 feet long. The bridge was restored in 1979 following a fire and is still in use. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975, and again in 2008.
Backstory and Context
The 1894 bridge was built in the Burr Truss style by John Woods. It required approximately 57,000 feet of timber to be built. The weight of the bridge is supported by vertical and horizontal truss supports, as well as wooden arches inside of the bridge. Steel I-beams and a road surface were added to the structure in 1937 to enable it to support automobiles.
The bridge was destroyed by arson in 1976, but enough of the bridge was saved to reconstruct it. The restoration also provided the opportunity to strengthen it with more steel I-beams and concrete. The reconstruction was completed in 1979. While it had been added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975, it was updated in 2008.