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Existing Covered Bridges in Tennessee-Bible Bridge


Bible Bridge
Exterior of Bible Covered Bridge

 


Bible Bridge
Interior of Bible Covered Bridge

Location map for Bible Covered Bridge Drawing/dimensions for Bible Covered Bridge

The Bible Covered Bridge is located in southwest Greene County, approximately 12 miles from Greeneville. It is located southeast of I-81 as it passes through Greene County, off US 11-E (State Route 340, Warrensburg Road) at its intersection with the Bible Bridge Road (Parrotsville Quad, 172 SE). Located on a roadside pull-off on a bypassed segment of the Bible Bridge Road, the bridge spans Little Chucky Creek.

The E.A. Bible family erected the Bible Bridge in 1923 as a private bridge to serve their farm. A.A. McLean, a self-taught engineer who practiced in Greene County, built the bridge. In 1940, the county court requested the county's financial committee to determine a just compensation for Mr. Bible in order to make public his farm road and bridge. The court subsequently agreed to pay him $750 for the bridge (Greene County Court Minutes, Volume 57:508, 583; Volume 58:109).

The Bible Bridge contains a covered wooden Queenpost truss span 44.7 feet in length, a covered timber stringer 12.5 feet in length, and a timber stringer 11.6 feet in length. The roadway width is 11.8 feet, and the minimum vertical clearance is 8.4 feet. The bridge sits on a concrete substructure of two piers and two abutments.

Around 1972-1973, the Greene County Heritage Trust initiated a project to rehabilitate the bridge that included an entirely new exterior covering. The previous covering contained no windows, had vertical gable ends, a ventilation area of horizontal slats along the roofline. The new covering contains three pedimented windows on each side, projecting end gables, and a ventilation area of diagonal slats. This 1970's covering also contains a new roof bracing system and a shingle roof. However, the bridge retains the original wooden and steel truss members, the original concrete substructure, and an older (and possibly original) floor. Although the 1970's remodeling substantially altered the historic appearance of the bridge, the truss system remains intact.

In 1987-1988, the Tennessee Department of Transportation, in cooperation with Greene County and the Federal Highway Administration, erected a new bridge adjacent to this site. The project added rip-rap to stabilize the covered bridge and built a pull-off/parking area to provide access to the bridge. The state added offset railings at the portal to prohibit vehicular traffic while allowing pedestrian access. The bridge remains as a historic site within a small park-like setting.

In recent years Greene County has further stabilized the bridge, including repair work to the abutments and foundation as well as making it handicapped accessible.