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News Item #558
[KY 7]
Restored Bennett's Mill Covered Bridge Unveiled
Posted: 11-Nov-2003 5:20AM CST

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet officially unveiled the restored Bennett's Mill covered bridge over Tygarts Creek in Greenup County near KY 7.

More information: KYTC Press Release: Restored Covered Bridge in Greenup County Unveiled to Public (Nov. 6, 2003) [Outside Link]

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Comment posted by Jimmie on 10-Jan-2004 12:06AM CST
I,m so glad to hear that the Bennett Mill Bridge has been restored. I will visit it soon for new pictures.
 
Comment posted by Walter Laughlin on 6-Apr-2004 8:44AM CDT
I recently read that the Bennett's mill bridge in Greenup county is rumored to be the oldest & longest single-span covered bridge in the world. It is neither.

The longest single-span covered bridge in the world is the Blenheim Bridge in New York. I believe the length is 230 feet. There are also numerous covered bridges that are older. The single-span Dover bridge in neighboring Mason County, although shorter, was built in 1835. Bennett's Mill is however, the only Surviving example of the rare Wheeler Truss and may, in fact, have been the prototype to this truss as its date of construction pre-dates Isaac Wheeler's patent by some twenty years.

One other myth to debunk. It has long been rumored that the Butler Bridge in Pendleton County was the longest in the world. And that it was 570 feet long. It was actually 456 feet long in three spans (there was also a short uncovered approach span at the north end not included in this length). At the time of its destruction in 1937 it was four feet shorter than the covered bridge that (in 2004) is the longest in the United States. If I remember correctly it is the Medora Bridge. I do know that it is in Indiana and is 460 feet in three spans. The longest covered bridge ever recorded was over 1 mile long in 26 spans and if memory serves was over the Columbia river in South Carolina. It was burned during the Civil war, was rebuilt at a slightly different and shorter alignment, and burned again some years later.

The Camp Nelson Bridge over the Kentucky River on US 27 at the Garrard-Jessamine County line was at the time of its destruction the longest single-span wooden bridge in the world at 240 feet.

The St. Clair Street Bridge in Frankfort was approximately 445 feet in four spans and was, until the Butler bridge was built in 1870, the longest covered bridge in Kentucky. It was demolished in 1894.


Walter Laughlin - Former Associate Director, Kentucky Covered Bridge Association.
 
Comment posted by Walter Laughlin on 8-Apr-2004 3:22AM CDT
I've double checked some information. The Medora Bridge in Indiana is NOT the longest in the United States. It is in fact, the Cornish-Windsor Bridge Between New Hampshire and Vermont. It IS 460 feet long, but is in two spans. It is also older than Bennett's Mill, having been built in the 1840's by all accounts. The Medora bridge is the SECOND longest in the US at 438 feet. My confusion came in that in one publication, the C-W Bridge is listed in the same paragraph as Medora. My memory failed.

Blenheim bridge by most accouns is the longest single-span in the US. However, there have been some points to this effect made for a bridge in California. However, it appears that when you measure chord-end to chord end (Which is the truss length) Blenheim is longer. The measurements of the California bridge appear to include the shelter panels. While this does create a greater VISIBLE length, the tru measure of the span is actually the length of the functioning truss.
 
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Updated: 8-Apr-2004 3:22AM CDT

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