Pass Creek Covered Bridge Central Oregon

• Pass Creek Bridge is made with the oldest timbers in the state
• The bridge park has picnic tables, covered pavilions, and restrooms

The Pass Creek Covered Bridge is a charming historic landmark in Drain, Oregon. The name of the town might sound funny. Okay, whom am I kidding? It is funny. But it doesn't come from the most important piece of infrastructure during Oregon's rainy season (which lasts like 14 months in a year). It actually comes from the town's founder and politician, Charles J Drain.

Drain is a cozy little town with multiple historic structures in addition to the covered bridge. For example, Charles and Anna Drain House.

The Pass Creek Bridge is a decorative 61-foot (19 m) long Howe truss bridge over Pass Creek (I know, it's hard to figure that one out). It is 19.5 feet (6 m) wide and 30 feet (9 m) high at the gabled peak. Iron rods support the wooden truss members, and the structure is encased in cedar siding. The hand-hewn timbers you can see were likely repurposed from a much older structure. The bridge also lacks any windows or ventilation openings.

Pass Creek Bridge is fenced off, but you can walk on the approach and look inside. The park around the bridge has picnic tables, covered pavilions, and restrooms.

One of the Pass Creek Covered Bridge's most unique aspects is its location within the city limits of Drain. Only a few covered bridges in Oregon are inside of the city.

Pass Creek Covered Bridge Central Oregon

Pass Creek Covered Bridge History

The Pass Creek Covered Bridge may be older than its official 1925 construction date. Some historians believe it could have been built as early as 1906.

In the 1870s, an original covered bridge stood at this spot along the Overland Stage Route connecting the Willamette Valley and Jacksonville. This early bridge was a part of the important transportation network that helped shape the region's development.

In 1906, the original bridge was replaced by another covered structure, which served the community until the current Pass Creek Bridge was built in 1925.

The hand-hewn structural timbers used in the bridge's Howe truss design may have been repurposed from the 1876 bridge, potentially making them the oldest bridge timbers still in use in the state.

Pass Creek Covered Bridge Central Oregon

The 1925 bridge remained in service until 1981 when it was closed to vehicular traffic because of structural issues caused by rot and insect damage. Recognizing the bridge's historical significance, the City of Drain preserved the structure.

In 1987, the bridge was carefully dismantled, and each piece was numbered. A 90-ton crane moved the trusses a short distance downstream, where the bridge was reassembled as a pedestrian footbridge in 1989.

This relocation not only saved the bridge from demolition but also allowed it to continue serving the community in a new capacity.

In 2014, the Pass Creek Bridge was closed to pedestrian traffic due to severe degradation of one of its 65-foot hand-hewn chords. As a result, the Oregon Department of Transportation selected the bridge as a pilot project for digital preservation through 3D laser scanning in 2015.

Pass Creek Covered Bridge Central Oregon

Pass Creek Covered Bridge | Facts

Architectural Bridge Design: Howe truss
Bridge access: Pedestrian
Stream: Pass Creek
Bridge Length: 61 ft (19 m)
Built: 1925 (1906?)
Closed: 1981
Moved: 1989

Open: Year-round

Elevation: 370 ft (113 m)

Pass Creek Covered Bridge is located:

  • 35 miles north of Roseburg
  • 40 miles northeast of Eugene
  • 102 miles southwest of Salem.

Adventures Nearby

Directions to Pass Creek Covered Bridge

From I-5 at Curtin,
  • Head east on I-5
  • Take exit 162 to merge onto OR-38 West toward OR-99/Drain/Elkton and follow it for 6.6 miles
  • Turn right onto W B Avenue and then turn left at the 1st cross street onto 2nd street
  • Slight right onto W A Avenue.
Address: 101 W A Ave, Drain, OR 97435

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