Why are covered bridges covered?
Why are covered bridges covered? That's a good question and there is a lot
of speculation as to why old covered bridges were covered.
Covered bridges may have been covered for many reasons. To speculate, the
biggest reason was to protect the wooden structure from the weather. Rain,
snow, ice and the sun all make wooden bridges fail much faster. By covering
the wooden bridge, the bridge would last longer. Most claim that is the
reason why covered bridges are covered.
Covered bridges are also covered to help get cattle over the bridge, the sight of the
rushing water scared the cattle and made them hesitate going over the
bridge. It would also prevent the cattle from stampeding across the bridge.
Some towns used to fine people if their horses or other cattle went over the
bridge too fast, claiming it was damaging to the bridge.
Covered bridges were also covered to keep the rain off the wooden deck of
the bridge which would make it very slippery. The roofs on covered bridges
also kept the snow off the bridge.
Some also say the roof and walls on a covered bridge covered up the ugly
trusses, and also provided shelter in bad weather.
Engineers also claim that the reason why covered bridges are covered was
that the roof and walls help strengthen the covered bridges, adding to the
reason to cover a bridge.
Today, covered bridges are built only to attract tourists and really serve
no modern day purpose.
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