Switzer Covered Bridge (Formerly KY 1262)

This covered bridge carried KY 1262 over North Elkhorn Creek northeast of Frankfort. It was recently restored after being demolished in floods.

The Switzer Covered Bridge was constructed in 1855 as a 120-ft. Howe truss.(3) It was later reconstructed in 1874,(5) and was used until it was restored in 1906,(1) and again in 1911.(4) It later carried Kentucky State Route 1262 until 1954 (5) when a new bridge was constructed adjacent to the covered span across North Elkhorn Creek. The bridge was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 6, 1974.(5)

In 1990,(2)(3) the covered bridge underwent renovations after Governor Wallace Wilkinson created the Franklin County Covered Wooden Bridge Authority.(1) Private donations, state funding, and fund-raisers helped pay for the completion of the span. However, seven years later on March 4,(6) the historic span fell victim to near record rainfall, where flood waters knocked the bridge from its foundation.(3) The span remained intact as it slammed against the modern concrete span just downstream. On August 12, engineers, architects, and members of the Switzer Covered Bridge Authority began dismantling and cataloging the damaged covered bridge. The total cost of the restoration of the bridge was $500,000. Work on the restoration concluded in 1998 and the covered bridge was rededicated.

Today, the Switzer Covered Bridge features the only sawtooth edged entrance in Kentucky.(4)


Sources

  1. Burlew, Jeff. “Historic Switzer Bridge Suffers Heavy Damage.” State Journal (Frankfort) 3 Mar. 1997. 14 July 2006 Article.
  2. Burlew, Jeff. “Engineers begin picking up pieces of covered bridge.” State Journal (Frankfort) 12 Aug. 1997. 14 July 2006 Article.
  3. ‘Switzer Covered Bridge.’ University of Kentucky. April 20, 2007 Article.
  4. ‘Kentucky’s Covered Bridges.’ Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives July 1, 2005. April 20, 2007 Article.
  5. Powell, Robert A. “Kentucky Images Magazine.” Kentucky Images Magazine. 1984.
  6. “Swollen creeks damage spans to Kentucky’s past.” Herald-Leader (Lexington), March 5, 1997. July 19, 2007.