Mechanicsville Covered Bridge has several distinctions to it’s credit. First being the longest single span in Ashtabula County with a length of 156 feet. The structural strength of the bridge is found in it’s Howe Truss and Burr Arch combination. This bridge is the only one of its kind in Ashtabula County.
This construction was patented in 1804 by Theodore Burr and is designed to strengthen the basic truss. The covered bridge was originally built in 1867, which makes it one of the oldest covered bridges in Ashtabula County.
In the late 1990’s the rehabilitation began when county crews installed two new piers under the falling structure. This measure was taken to support the structure from collapse until funding could be secured for rehabilitation. Federal Transportation Enhancement Funds were applied for and secured. The Ashtabula County Engineer’s Office developed the detailed plans and designs and a contract was let for rehabilitation.
Union Industrial Contractors of Ashtabula, was awarded the contract in the amount of $533,000. Construction began in July of 2003 and was completed in the spring of 2004. The work consisted of complete replacement of the floor beams, decking, roof trusses, siding, and a new metal roof. Extensive replacement of deteriorated truss members was performed as well as arch repairs on the southwest corner. Unique “lightning bolt” splices were reconstructed and replaced on the bottom chords of the truss and all the vertical steel tension rods were replaced. Concrete caps were placed on the piers and abutments and roadway approach work was completed for a smooth transition into the bridge.
The Mechanicsville Covered Bridge bridge spans the Grand River, in Austinburg Township, on Windsor-Mechanicsville Road. Grand River is the principle river that drains western Ashtabula County.
It is with in sight of the location of the first mill built in the county, by Ambrose Humphrey, shortly after 1800. It is also with a few hundred yards of a famous indian portage used long before the New England settlers arrived in this area. The last remaining covered bridge in Austinburg Township, it is numbered 35-04-18 by the Ohio Historical Society