JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. – Downriver from Applegate Lake, the Historic McKee Covered Bridge over Applegate River is about to get a makeover.
Jackson County Commissioners agreed to accept a $491,000 federal grant to pay for most of the work needed to make the 95-year-old bridge usable again. An inspection last year showed some key timbers under the wood bridge were getting rotten and the bridge was not safe, even for foot traffic.
“Rot in a timber bridge is not necessarily unusual. Timber bridges rot over time. But the extent of this was, uh, considerably worse than we had anticipated, so we had to close the bridge to all pedestrian traffic and the bridge has been fenced-off ever since,” said Jackson County Public Works Director John Vial.
The McKee Bridge Historical Society has pledge to raise the $57,000 needed to match the grant. They have ten years to complete to project to received the funding.