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The Gilkey Bridge spans Thomas Creek and until 1960, it proudly stood next to a covered railroad bridge. Gilkey was once a town of some activity, as noted by a nearby sign: `Gilkey Station was established when the railroad arrived in 1880 and was named in honor of Allen and William Gilkey.

Gilkey served as a shipping point for farm products.` Just about all but the sign and the bridge are now gone, and the sign is totally faded. The familiar swimming rope is tied to the framework of the bridge, and during the summer swimmers enjoy this area of Thomas Creek.

Youngsters often grow tired of swinging on the rope and seek more excitement by climbing up to the roof and jumping into the cool water below. In 1997, the bridge had to be closed due to damage caused by an overloaded vehicle. The load had overstressed the bridge and broke the timber shear keys in some of the lower chord joints. Temporary cables were installed to keep the bridge up under its own weight. Permanent repairs were designed and constructed in 1998 and the bridge was reopened to traffic.

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These maps and directions are for planning purposes only. You may find that construction projects, traffic, or other events may cause road conditions to differ from the map results. For travel options, weather and road conditions, visit, call 511 (in Oregon only), 800.977.6368 or 503.588.2941.

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A related Trip Idea

  1. Cultural Oregon: Covered Bridges

    written by Christina Rusnak on April 22nd, 2013

    Our Oregon heritage offers cultural travelers an opportunity to step back in time, and covered bridges illustrate some of the most iconic cultural elements of our state. Covered to increase their lifespan, the bridges today conjure up a sense of…

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