Wawona Covered BridgeThe Wawona Covered Bridge
The Wawona Covered Bridge is one of only 12 covered bridges in California and the only one in Yosemite. It was originally built by Galen Clark as a modified queen post truss without a cover in 1868, making it the oldest surviving bridge in the state.
After being sold to the Washburn group of investors, it was covered with Douglas fir cladding in 1878, enclosing the Ponderosa pine structure and its iron tie rods. The adz marks on the beams are still visible. Additions were completed in 1900 when extensions at each end brought the bridge to its current length of 138 feet.
The bridge served automobile traffic until 1937, when a new bridge was built across the South Fork of the Merced River about 660 ft. to the southwest.
The same year, Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) enrollees repaired several transverse floor beams, replaced some of the wood siding, and added additional stone to the timber crib foundation.
Major damage by a flood in 1955 required the bridge to be dismantled and reassembled. The bridge is part of the Pioneer Yosemite History Center and continues to carry horse, stage, and pedestrian traffic.
CAN THE WAWONA COVERED BRIDGE BE SAVED? By Arthur G. Rempel, Ranger Naturalist
Project originally submitted by Andrew Laverdiere on October 22, 2017.
Additional contributions by Richard Walker.
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