CARROLLTON, W.Va. — Officials with the state Division of Highways say they expect a Barbour County covered bridge to be closed for several weeks after a fire late Thursday night.

Engineers were on the scene Friday afternoon at  the Carrollton Covered Bridge on county Route 36 in Barbour County.

“Along with playing a special role in West Virginia’s history, our covered bridges are among the most photographed landmarks in the state,” state Transportation Secretary Tom Smith said in a statement. “The Division of Highways will thoroughly evaluate this structure, make necessary repairs to reopen the bridge to traffic, and assist in efforts to restore this historic landmark.”

The cause of the blaze is being investigated by the state Fire Marshal’s Office.

The bridge, which was built in 1856, has been treasured by the community. Several residents were very emotional at the scene of the fire.

The bridge carries traffic over the Buckhannon River near Audra State Park. It is the second longest and third oldest surviving covered bridge in the state.

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