The Ryot Covered Bridge, located over Dunnings Creek near Pleasantville in West St. Clair Township in Bedford County, PA, was burned by teenage arsonists in 2002. The County Commissioners immediately committed to the restoration of the bridge and to an accelerated schedule during a time of national security concerns. P. Joseph Lehman, Inc., Consulting Engineers was chosen to undertake the bridge rehabilitation and reconstruction.
Originally constructed in 1869, the Ryot Covered Bridge had undergone a major rehabilitation only seven years earlier, which fortunately meant that the new steel beams and reinforced concrete/mortared stone-faced abutments were not damaged by the fire. Some of the timber bottom chords and end arch pieces were also salvaged. The bridge was completely torn apart, inspected, the parts numbered, and reassembled with needed repairs and parts. New siding and a deck were also added.
A small portion of the total project cost of $300,000 was recouped from the juveniles who set the fire.