Rating:
3 votes

Blenheim Bridge

Photos 

Photo taken by Historic American Buildings Survey

View photos at Library of Congress

BH Photo #128456

Map 

Facts 

Overview
Covered bridge over Schoharie Creek on River Road
Location
Schoharie County, New York
Status
Destroyed by flooding from Hurricane Irene on Aug 28, 2011
History
Built 1855; Approach span added 1869; Approach span rebuilt 1887 & 1895; bypassed 1932; lost 2011
Builder
- Nichols Montgomery Powers
Design
Long through truss
Dimensions
Total length: 232.0 ft.
Deck width: 26.2 ft.
Recognition
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966
Approximate latitude, longitude
+42.47253, -74.44083   (decimal degrees)
42°28'21" N, 74°26'27" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
18/545964/4702394 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Gilboa
Inventory numbers
NRHP 66000570 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
WGCB 32-47-01 (World Guide to Covered Bridges number)
WGCB 32-48-01 (World Guide to Covered Bridges number)
BH 38206 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • August 28, 2011: Updated by Tony Dillon: Destroyed by flooding from Hurricane Irene
  • April 30, 2011: New photos from Will
  • July 26, 2010: New photos from Brian McKee
  • November 23, 2008: Added by James Baughn

Sources 

  • HABS NY-359 - Blenheim Covered Bridge, Spanning Schoharie River, North Blenheim, Schoharie County, NY
  • HAER NY-331 - Blenheim Bridge, Spanning Schoharie Creek, River Road (now bypassed, North Blenheim, Schoharie County, NY
  • James Baughn - webmaster [at] bridgehunter [dot] com
  • Blenheim Covered Bridge - March 27, 2010
  • Brian McKee - bjmckee51 [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Will Truax - Bridgewright [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Tony Dillon - spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com

Comments 

Blenheim Bridge
Posted October 2, 2015, by Michael Quiet (MQuiet [at] Gmail [dot] com)

Another article about the reconstruction of this bridge, with (hopefully) design, contracting, and construction to begin in 2016.

http://www.twcnews.com/nys/capital-region/news/2015/09/21/hi...

It'll have to be seen how faithfully they intend to (or can) reproduce the original, as it was a truly remarkable bridge. Ample documentation remains of the design of the truss and elements thanks to HAER, but it would still take some exceptional skill to replicate Nichols Powers work on the original.

Blenheim Bridge
Posted January 30, 2014, by CANALLER

An article in one of this week's papers confirmed that funding for the design of a new bridge was approved. FEMA tried to weasel their way out of it, but the townsfolk refused to take No for an answer and the feds reluctantly gave in. Additional funds and approvals will be necessary for construction, but the landmark should eventually return.

Nathanists don't need to panic. Nearby steel bridges are being repaired too.

Blenheim Bridge
Posted September 18, 2013, by Tom Hoffman (tehoffm [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I got through reading articles about the town of Blenheim wanting to rebuild the historic covered bridge. People apparently have been working to find some of the original timbers which I thought were like a total loss. It would mostly all new massive timbers to rebuild a covered bridge of this size and be costly. Apparently the residents have strong interest in bringing their bridge back because of the importance the bridge was to their town.

Blenheim Bridge
Posted September 18, 2013, by Tom Hoffman (tehoffm [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I got through reading articles about the town of Blenheim wanting to rebuild the historic covered bridge. People apparently have been working to find some of the original timbers which I thought were like a total loss. It would mostly all new massive timbers to rebuild a covered bridge of this size and be costly. Apparently the residents have strong interest in bringing their bridge back because of the importance the bridge was to their town.

Blenheim Bridge
Posted September 4, 2011, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Although the information has been rather scarce, the one report I did hear said that they had the roof of the bridge, but the trusses appeared to be obliterated.

Lower Bartonsville in Vermont appeared to be partially intact and possibly some of the timbers can be salvaged and reused.

Blenheim Bridge
Posted September 3, 2011, by Tom Hoffman (tehoffm [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Man this was a real shame to lose such a very rare massive struture. Yes, Hurricane Irene was giving me concerns about New Englands bridges. Have any timbers been recovered or are they too far washed away and snapped? Trees for aren't so big anymore. I hope enough intact timbers can be recovered and there would be large enough wood to replace those timbers lost to rebuild the structure. Thats how the Moscow Covered bridge was rebuilt in Indiana after an F-3 tornado blew it off its foundation. Thats a thought because I dont know the exact fate. Just in case, it would be wise to set the bridge higher but with something like Hurricane Irene floods I don't know. For those in the area with interest in rebuilding, Good Luck.

Blenheim Bridge
Posted August 29, 2011, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

I was looking through the HAER photos and I see there used to be a riveted truss bridge next to this covered bridge as well. I presume it was this truss bridge which replaced the covered bridge. Why then, when the replacement for the truss bridge was built, was this historic riveted truss bridge not allowed to stand next to its replacement like the covered bridge?

In the interest of fairness, if they intend to replicate this destroyed covered bridge, the beautiful riveted metal truss bridge which was demolished by NYSDOT should also be replicated.

Blenheim Bridge
Posted August 28, 2011, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Flooding from Hurricane Irene destroyed this wonderful span today.

This is a sad loss of an historic landmark bridge that has been listed on the national register for almost 50 years.

Wonder if there will be any chance of rebuilding it.

Blenheim Bridge
Posted October 15, 2010, by Will (Bridgewright [at] gmail [dot] com)

The bridgewright who built the Blenheim is the same Nichols M Powers that you have next on your list of builders. He was and continues to be misidentified by people who seem to believe they are correcting a typo.

This even goes to census records taken in his lifetime.

His own papers however, suggest otherwise...

As does his his gravestone - http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Powers...

There are also other surviving bridges attributable to him. It'll take some time but I'll get back with a list