Lake of the Woods Covered Bridge, Engineer Celebrated After 50 Years

7/16/2015 6:12:00 AM

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the inauguration of the covered bridge over the Sangamon River at Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve Park in Mahomet, Ill., and local officials plan to mark the event on Monday, Aug. 3, 2015, with a seminar about the bridge presented on the University of Illinois campus by the bridge’s structural designer and a dedication ceremony at the park.

German Gurfinkel
German Gurfinkel
The bridge was designed in the 1960s by German Gurfinkel, a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Gurfinkel has taught at Illinois for 53 years. Gurfinkel’s seminar, to be presented at 3 p.m. Aug. 3 at Newmark Civil Engineering Laboratory on the University of Illinois campus, will be titled, “The Covered Bridge at Lake of the Woods: Everything You Wanted to Know But Were Afraid to Ask.”

After the approximately hour-long seminar and time for questions, the festivities will move to the bridge itself, where officials of the Champaign County Forest Preserve will dedicate a new plaque commemorating the bridge’s history.

“The objective is to learn more about a bridge that has served two generations of park visitors for all these years and to honor its designer,” said Fernando Moreu, a former student of Gurfinkel’s, who spearheaded the event in coordination with the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Champaign County Forest Preserve District.

The public is welcome at both the seminar and the dedication ceremony.


Covered Bridge Photo © William Cook