Historic Marker for Philippi Bridge - Barbour County
The last historic covered bridge on the federal highway system, Philippi Bridge carries US 250 over Tygart Valley River at Philippi, WV. Built in 1852 and 308 feet long, including portals (285 feet 10 inches between abutments), it is the oldest and longest covered bridge remaining in West Virginia. Siding fit around the arches of the Burr arch trusses gives this bridge an unusual appearance. The “double-barrel” design also is not common; a truss is between the two lanes of the dual-span bridge, for a total of six wooden arches, each about 140 feet long. In 1934, a steel and concrete deck was put under bridge to support modern traffic, with a concrete pier in the middle of each span, so the two-span bridge has three piers between the abutments. Over time, Philippi Bridge has been severely damaged by fire, floods, and heavy trucks; after heavy fire damage in 1989 when a nearby station’s gasoline storage tank overflowed, the bridge was reconstructed to resemble the original and reopened to traffic in 1991. Philippi Bridge was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972 (entry 72001284). Philippi is the site of the first land conflict - often referred to as a skirmish - of the American Civil War on June 3, 1861.