Preservation Merit Award to the Trumbull County Engineerís Office and
The Righter Company, Inc. for the preservation and rehabilitation of the historic Newton
Falls Covered Bridge.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Newton Falls Covered Bridge has carried
traffic across the East Branch of the Mahoning River since the 1830s. Ohioís oldest covered bridge
that is still in use in its original location, and the last covered bridge in Trumbull County, itís
based on a design patented by civil engineer Ithiel Town in 1820. Over the years, itís
been added to: a covered sidewalk for school children in 1921; stone piers to support the original
span in 1943; and a steel substructure in 1962. Now, through the efforts of the Trumbull County
Engineerís Office and The Righter Company, the bridge has been restored to its 1943 appearance,
using the same timber-framing techniques used in the 19th century. The decision to restore the
bridge to its appearance of 65 years ago rather than its 19th century state came out of the
planning process as the best of several options discussed by the County Engineerís Office, the
Ohio Historic Preservation Office, and the Federal Highway Administration. It allowed the covered
sidewalk to be preserved and the piers that are not original, but do lend support, to stay, too.
The project consisted of removing the 1962 steel substructure and piers; building new concrete
piers that look like stone; replacing deteriorated trusses; replacing the floor, siding, and
standing seam metal roof; and coating the interior with fire retardant. Samples of original
materials showing how the bridge is constructed were donated to the public library for display. The
engineering design was funded by the Trumbull County Engineer and construction was funded by a
federal grant obtained through the County Engineers Association of Ohio. This is The Righter
Companyís thirty-second covered bridge project. In December, after a ribbon cutting, traffic
returned to the 177-year-old bridge, a beloved symbol of the City of Newton Falls that now carries
more than 2,000 vehicles a day.
to return to the list of 2008 Ohio Historic Preservation Office Award recipients.
for a list of past Ohio Historic Preservation Office Award recipients.