State Road, Monroe Township.
157 feet, two spans
Narrative from “The Covered Bridges of Ashtabula County,” by Carl E. Feather.
Ashtabula County was gripped by recession and high unemployment in the early 1980s when County Engineer John Smolen looked to the past for a way to light the county’s future.
In 1983 Smolen led the effort that built over Conneaut Creek the first covered bridge to be constructed in Ohio since 1920, when wooden bridges gave way to steel and concrete structures. The construction was in addition to his plan to rehabilitate all 12 of the remaining legacy bridges.
“It was a gigantic undertaking,” Smolen recalls of the bridge-rehab work. ‘“It was one big project after another.’“
Nevertheless, Smolen jumped on the opportunity to build a new timber bridge while funding and manpower were available to a county strapped for cash, jobs and bridges.
“It was just something that needed to be done. Timber is good bridge-building material,” he says. “It is lightweight and easy to work. I just had that desire to build a new covered bridge and the commissioners were eager to do it.”
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