Dents Run Covered Bridge - Monongalia County, West Virginia
Susan Rissi Tregoning
Photograph - Photography
Dents Run Covered Bridge is located in Laurel Point, West Virginia, but thanks to the urban spread that makes it very close to Morgantown today.
This beautiful red bridge was constructed in 1889 by William and Joseph Mercer, who built the bridge structure, while WA Loar made the abutments. At only 40 feet long, this Kingpost Truss bridge spanning Dents Run is one of the smallest covered bridges still standing in West Virginia and the only one left in Monongalia County. It was rehabilitated in 2004.
Before 1970, the WV highway department added a steel I-beam to the bridge for additional support. Still, in 1972, when Dippel and Dippel Coal Company wanted to use the bridge to transport coal across Dents Run, residents fought the usage. As a result, the company was forced to build a concrete bypass bridge, and Dents Run Bridge is no longer open to any vehicle traffic.
The Kingpost Truss, consisting of a central vertical beam held in place with a tie beam, was rarely used in West Virginia covered bridge construction. As a result, only one other West Virginia Covered Bridge, utilizing the Kingpost Truss, still exists.
As of 2023, only 17 covered bridges are left in West Virginia; Dents Run Bridge was assigned number 14 when it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1981. The bridge is significant for its enduring structure and unique architectural features.
Copyright 2023 Susan Rissi Tregoning
February 20th, 2023
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