Monday, January 10, 2011

Coldwater Covered Bridge - Oxford, Alabama

Coldwater Covered Bridge
Visible from the westbound lanes of Interstate 20 at Oxford, the Coldwater Covered Bridge is the oldest covered bridge in the State of Alabama.

Although some believe it was built as early as the 1830s, the bridge can be documented back as far as 1850 when it was a popular crossing over Coldwater Creek between Oxford and Talladega. Traditionally built by a freed slave, the bridge is a rare example of the Multiple Open King Post through Truss design which uses heavy posts raised on beams to support the apex of a triangle formed by the trusses of the bridge.

Coldwater Covered Bridge
Sixty-three feet long, the old bridge was used daily until around 1920 when it was damaged by fire. The damage was superficial, fortunately, and the bridge was repaired and continued to carry traffic over Coldwater Creek until it was replaced by a concrete structure in the modern era.

The Coldwater Covered Bridge then became the focus of a noteworthy local preservation effort which culminated in 1990 when it was moved to its present location at Oxford Lake Park and carefully restored. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it is one of the best preserved and most accessible covered bridges in Alabama.

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