Meem's Bottom Bridge
One of the best-known covered bridges is the 204-foot single-span Burr arch truss known as Meem's Bottom in Shenandoah County.
Here it is possible to step back into the past, while less than a half-mile away the hum of modern-day traffic can be heard on Interstate 81.
The site takes its name from the Meem family that owned large landholdings in the area. This long span over the North Fork of the river carried traffic for more than 80 years before being burned by vandals on Halloween in 1976.
After salvaging the original timbers, the bridge was reconstructed and eventually undergirded with steel beams and concrete piers.
Succeeding several earlier bridges, the Meem's Bottom Bridge was built in 1894. Materials were cut and quarried nearby for the massive arch supports and stone abutments, which extend 10 feet below the riverbed.
Previous bridges in this spot were washed away in the floods of 1870 and 1877. The next bridge, built in 1878, stood until it was replaced by the present bridge.
Take a Road Trip
The bridge is reached easily from Interstate 81 at exit 269 between New Market and Mount Jackson. Follow Route 730 from the interchange for four-tenths of a mile to Route 11. Go north on Route 11 for nine-tenths of a mile to Route 720 and the west a short distance to the river.
It also can be reached off Route 11, four miles north of New Market and about two miles south of Mount Jackson.