Abutments and Center Pier

Posted By on January 6, 2006

Some folks out there might not know what the “Abutments and Center Pier” are. They are basically the foundation of the covered bridge. The abutments are under the ends of the bridge and the center pier holds up the middle. Why does the middle have to be help up? Because in 1868 (when our covered bridge was built) they couldn’t bridge the entire 245 foot creek with one span. So, they used 2 spans (Or bridges) and they met in the middle on top of the center pier. After the siding and roof is put on it looks like one long bridge. That is where the term “Double Span” comes from. Photo #1 shows the south abutment with the Bridgeton Mill in the background. Photo #2 shows the center pier with the mill again in the background. I thought having the mill in the shot would help you visualize where the bridge sat. Plus, I just like to take pictures of my mill. HA HA

A little bit of interesting info you might like to know. The postcards and descriptions of the Bridgeton Covered Bridge say it is 245 feet long. I measured the bridge and it was 268 feet long. Both measurments are correct. I guess it depends on your definition of “Long” as to which measurment you would use. The first and accepted measurment of 245 feet is the length of what is bridged, or the distance from abutment to abutment. The second measurment includes the portion of the structure that sits on the ground at each end. This is call the “Dog House” in Parke County. What is bridged plus the dog house on each end equals 268 feet. All the covered bridges I’ve seen in Parke County have the “Bridged” measurment listed.

Check out the blog below this to read more about the “Abutments and Center Pier”

Mike Roe

Bridgeton Mill

About the author

Owner of the Bridgeton Mill

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