The "New" Moreland Covered Bridge

Gene Walls

Williamsport, United States

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554 views as of July 20th 2013

This is the “New” Fraser Covered Bridge, located near Lairdsville, Pennsylvania, USA. This beautiful bridge can be found on Covered Bridge Road, not far from State Route 118, in eastern Lycoming County, PA. It is also called the “Old Lairdsville Bridge” and is one of the finest examples of the “Burr Arch” covered bridge design. The structure was looking pretty shabby the last time I was there, but a complete restoration has recently been completed on this important historical structure.

The surrounding landscape is currently “healing” from the extensive damage that had been caused by severe flooding on September 7th of 2011. The work that was being done on the bridge most likely saved it from being completely destroyed by the rushing flood waters. Large trees that were very close to the bridge were knocked over or washed away, but thankfully, the bridge was saved.

Last spring, the original abutments were crumbling into the creek, most the side boards were rotten, warped, damaged or completely missing. The distinctive red paint was nearly gone and the roof had numerous holes and leaks. The bridge had a lot of “character”, but it’s condition was a sad sight to see.

Then, last summer, the bridge rehabilitation began and new abutments were installed to provide a solid foundation for the stately old bridge. Before the work could be completed, the floods came, delaying completion of the project. Now, all of the tattered side boards have been replaced and a new metal roof has been installed. The structure has been heavily reinforced and a new deck surface was installed. The smell of fresh paint still fills the air here and the deep red color of the exterior has been beautifully restored. Some of the original framing timbers were saved, including the “Burr” Arches that gave the bridge its amazing strength and longevity. Even the unusual side “window” feature was meticulously reproduced, to retain the original character of this well designed historic landmark.

The Frazier Covered Bridge was originally built in 1888, to permit horses, people and wagons to conveniently cross Little Muncy Creek in Moreland Township. (This structure is also commonly referred to as The Moreland Covered Bridge.) One feature that distinguishes this covered bridge from most others is the unique window opening in the upstream wall of the bridge. This window allowed drivers and horsemen to see around the corner, so they could watch for approaching traffic on the sharp turn at the southeastern end of the bridge. This special feature enabled travelers to avoid collisions with approaching travelers from Lairdsville, who would have been completely hidden because of the “blind” curve at the bridge’s entrance.

This bridge was officially listed on the United States National Register of Historic Places on July 24, 1980 (#80003568). The World Guide Number is WGN 38-41-03. The National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges lists this bridge as WGCB PA-41-03. This great old landmark has been skillfully rehabilitated under the guiding hand of the Lycoming County Commissioners, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and Lycoming Supply Inc. (the project contractor).

The Frazier / Moreland Covered Bridge, as it looked In August of 2009

Interior View, Showing Construction Details of the Bridge. Photographed before the restoration.

A Canon EOS 30D DSLR body, fitted with a Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L Zoom lens was used. The lens was set to the 26 focal length. The camera’s shutter speed was 1/6th sec at f/20. The camera’s ISO was set to 100.

Your comments are always welcome! Constructive criticism is appreciated.

© 2012 Gene Walls

All copyright and reproduction rights are retained by the artist. Artwork may not be reproduced or altered by any process without the express written permission of the artist.

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