There used to be thousands of covered bridges across the mid-Atlantic region and New England. Now there’s just 200 left in Pennsylvania, and just 7 in the Lehigh Valley region.
The inside of Bogert’s Bridge
Communities learned that they could exponentially increase the life of a bridge by covering it with a roof. Uncovered wooden bridges typically last just 20 years because of rain and sun. The simple act of adding a roof extended that life to 100 years.
Schlicher’s Covered Bridge
About 1,500 covered bridges were built from 1820 and 1900, and most were built from 1825 and 1875. In total, more than 12,000 covered bridges have been built in the U.S.
Manassas Guth Bridge
The Industrial Revolution and the development of cheaper wrought iron and cast iron in the mid-1800s changed bridge construction forever. Trusses were made out of metal, rather than wood, and could withstand the rain and sun, so these metal bridges no longer needed to be covered.
Taking the self-paced, 50-mile driving tour around Lehigh Valley’s covered bridges offers a scenic drive through the countryside.
Kreidersville Covered Bridge
But they’re quaint and lovely old historic structures. Seeing them is a treat, and driving through them is fun — and you can do that, because five of these bridges are still open.