Heavy rains in northern Missouri almost caused the destruction of the Union Covered Bridge in Monroe County over the weekend. After 6-10 inches of rain fell over a wide swath, the Elk Fork of the Salt River came close to wiping out the bridge. However, local residents were able to save the bridge by removing the wooden siding, allowing the water to pour over and through the bridge, but preventing the floodwater from knocking the bridge over.
Union Covered Bridge was built 1871 by Joseph C. Elliott.
Unlike the other covered bridges in Missouri, Union features a "double Burr arch" design with two massive wooden arches supporting the bridge.
The Union Bridge is one of only four remaining authentic covered bridges in Missouri. Monroe County once had several covered bridges, but disasters over the years, including other floods, have wiped out the rest.
While the covered bridge was saved, another bridge located downstream wasn't so fortunate. The Columbia Bridge, a large steel truss bridge, was carried off its piers by the violent force of the river. Eyewitnesses report that the bridge is a complete loss.
The Columbia Bridge on Monroe County Road 875
Missouri's covered bridges
Here is a whirlwind tour of Missouri's other covered spans:
Locust Creek Covered Bridge, Linn County, 1868:
Sandy Creek Covered Bridge, Jefferson County, 1872:
Burfordville Covered Bridge, Cape Girardeau County, ca. 1858:
Also, the Centennial Park Covered Bridge is a scale-model replica (2004) of an historic covered bridge that once stood near Sedalia: