This is by far the interesting railroad bridge I have yet to document. The scale and complexity of it was actually a bit staggering...especially in the context of a more rural part of the country where dual-tracked railroad bridges are non-existent (this is the only one in either VT or NH), and the scale of the single track ones never quite come to this level of heavy duty.
The design features are also quite unique. This is pretty late for a pin connected railroad bridge, giving it a elegant look with massive eye-bars and pins. Accounting to a very complex maneuver of crossing the river, the bridge executes 2 turns across the river, creating an even wider 1st span to accommodate the turn. Looking closer, you'll realize that the decking itself is actually built to incline into the curve, making it look crooked at first glance.
Well worth the visit. Wish they could convert this to a rail trail someday, the bridge itself is in excellent condition.
This must have been a classy bridge when built. I hate to see the old ones from this era allowed to decay.
Glad I was in the neighborhood to give this one a quick documentation. A replacement bridge is being built alongside it, with it looking to be getting close to done. Demolition of this bridge will probably follow soon after.
Michael,you got me thinking about something when you mentioned rail.If i'm not mistaken and i might be Reading Iron Co could have made rail parts like the plates,spikes and of course rail.I wouldn't put nothing past an iron company to do that.Like i said i worked for the company that took over Reading Iron so i don't really know what they made with the iron they had.
George, it was my first time ever coming across that stamp in all of my travels, so I don't think it was too common (of course its not like mid 1890's railroad bridges are anywhere near as common as I'd like).
I did find it odd that the stamp was just "Reading, PA" though. But for companies at that time and place Reading Iron Co. seems to fit.
Michael,you said in picture # 29 the iron was stamped with Reading meaning Reading Iron Co.I worked for Cambridge-Lee Industries who Reading Iron became.Didn't know there was iron from that company on any bridges.
Did a site visit on April 30th. I was very happy to see that the bridge got a rehabilitation in 2015, showing that the VTR intends to keep this bridge in service for more years to come. This is important as this is the oldest RR bridge still in service in VT, as well as the only wrought iron one and also as long span example of a riveted double intersection Warren truss
There was some loss of historic integrity of the bridge with this rehab though; Both abutments were rebuilt with concrete (replacing one original stone abutment), some strengthening steel plates were added to the endposts, several rivets replaced with bolts, and the largest hit being the original girder deck stringers being replaced by modern steel stringers. However the overall function of the truss was not affected, and no repairs or modifications had to be made to the truss web.
Not too bad overall. Wish more truss bridges were maintained like this!
Michael,do you know why they would cover over the rail and not remove it?Sounds weird to me.Maybe you or anybody else can find out.
Well looks like my optimism was misplaced. The existing components are going to be replaced with 2 125 foot modern spans. A silver lining is that the original ashlar pier and abutments will be retained and refurbished.
I'm pretty conflicted, as this bridge was quite a mish-mash of components from different times that made it pretty unique, but of questionable historic integrity/value. Its added timber pile piers contributed both to its initial failure, and were going to be a problem in the future. Returning it to a straight 2 span system will prevent future problems and undoubtedly keep down maintenance costs. But on the other hand it was a exceptional demonstration of the desperate times for the STJ & LC with its cobbled-together appearance giving it an incredible amount of character. Maybe it was a bridge only a pontist could love
Bidding has been put out for the construction of this bridge. It'll be nice to see this one put back together!
Its already in trail use on the The Mile-Around Woods Trail. Its excellent that it was saved...even if it is just over a small ditch!
So is this the site of a future trail? Cause it sure looks like it's just sitting in the middle of a farm over a dry ditch? It's a shame they changed the width, but with the rarity and how long it sat in the landfill I'm glad they saved it!
The date is correct, this is a rebuilt one. The original 1867 bridge was destroyed by an overweight truck in 1980.
This is about as close as you could get to the original as possible though, it was built to the speicifications of the original by a local bridgewright Arnold Graton, who constructed his bridges in the exact fashion as they would have been historically (down to building them on the ground and dragging them into position by Oxen).
Is this 1982 date right or is this a rebuilt bridge?
Nice discovery. There are some small, unassuming bridges out there with strong significance. Looks can be deceiving.
Curious if aggregate is river rounded or crushed. Anecdotally river gravel concrete around here holds up better than more modern crushed.
Never would've guessed that this was any sort of significant, having driven by it more times then I can count. Turns out its (as far as anyone can tell) the first concrete bridge to have been built in VT. And a pre-1900 concrete bridge as well makes it a rare find. I'll have to document it the next time I'm in that area!
This bridge is gone, with the new modern 2 span pony truss built just downstream. This was the only historic multi-span pony truss in VT, and given that it wasn't in the way of the replacement it seems an unnecessarily harsh decision to remove it instead of just leaving it in place.
Good news for this bridge!
As part of a general reconstruction of downtown, the ugly concrete facade for this bridge will be removed. Coverings on the other side will also be removed, restoring this back to being a bridge and not just a glorified culvert. The bridge itself is a beautiful 2 span marble structure, and its restoration is welcome news and is a success for historic bridges restoration.
Also exciting is that the location for the 1896 Lenticular Pony truss that the town has had in storage since 2013 has been determined and will be just downstream beneath the falls. Eagerly awaiting its placement!
Finally made it out to this one, a bit out of the way but a scenic drive nonetheless. The bridge is a neat survivor of a pre- 1927 flood pony truss. The Warren truss, while common for this length of bridge and time, is lightly built (no doubt owing to its remote location), with the most simple verticals I have yet encountered.
Pervasive rust damage to the lower sections of the bridge have compromised this structure. The Bailey truss runs slightly above the road deck and is independent of the historic bridge.
I concur, and also removed the "Central Vermont" category as well, as the Central Vermont/NECR trackage enters White River junction south of this river and never operated over this bridge. The Montpelier and Barre trackage is what is now the Washington County 'Granite Division' and also never operated here.
This bridge was not a part of the Montpelier and Barre or the New England Central RR.
Between the when the B&M left the line and the Washington County too over the line was operated by the Canadian Pacific railway.
You might be a pontist if family movie night is paused, rewound, and zoomed in because you spotted a builders plate. Thankfully the kids and wife are used to things like this...
The quality of the youtube video isn't enough to read it, but you can at least spot the plate and enjoy the long lost lattice railing.
It looks like the bridge was replaced this year. Terrible shame, it would have been the only extant Canton Bridge Co. product in VT. But if this shows anything though, there are still notable things to be found!
Missed this one by about 17 years...should've known those sufficiency ratings were too high for a historic truss bridge.
Replaced with a modern welded polygonal warren pony...pretty standard in its design and implementation for this era.
I haven't been able to confirm yet, but there's a reasonable chance this bridge is in storage somewhere. On the '98 Historic Truss plan for the state this bridge was listed for relocation/preservation use. Hopefully that's what ended up happening!
Looks like demolition and replacement to me. Vermont probably thought the covered bridge preservation approach (replace everything and keep calling it historic) was OK with this metal truss bridge as well. Its not. I agree with the observation about Checkered House... that one remains historic.
Not quite, the Checkered House bridge retained as much of the original material as possible during its rehabilitation & widening. The original overhead bracing is still there, with the added material quite distinct (which I appreciate, despite its uneven appearance, as you can still see where the original truss line was). Rivets are still plentiful as well, with only necessary replacements being done. Overall there is enough material to still justify the '29 build date.
I didn't see anything like that on this bridge to hint at its past.
Did this one get the same treatment as the Checkered House Bridge?
I'm hoping to get some input from my peers on how exactly to classify this bridge, as its been making my head hurt. Most likely me just overthinking it...but I like good bridge data :P
This bridge was completely rebuilt in 2011, and its hard to tell how much (if any) is original. The bridge is significantly wider then it used to be (add almost 10 feet to the width), and I couldn't find a single rivet on the entire structure...everything was bolts. The style of the bridge was retained/replicated, with the rebuilt overhead bracing still being built up members (again with bolts though) and the truss web still being the same style.
And thus my quandary: keep it as a single entry and go with "completely rebuilt 2011", or list the old one as "lost" and set up a new entry for this bridge. NBI lists the build date as 2011, reflecting that this is pretty much a new bridge that just looks like the old one.
Thoughts either way?
This little guy is in trouble:
From the report it looks like corrosion of the concrete abutment and stringer pedestals has caused the deck stringers to no longer be supported by the abutment, with the truss handling all the load. Or how the state report eloquently explained it:
"The end of the deck and floorsystem at the northern abutment is now basically cantilevered off from the last floorbeam"
Being owned by the RR instead of the state might make it easier to replace, however this bridge is listed in the States historic truss bridge plan as a top tier candidate for its feasibility of rehabilitation as opposed to replacement.
I also found it odd that this problem cropped up so quickly, with both super and substructures earning a "fair" mark only 2 years ago. Looking at photos from the inspection back in 2012 we could already see section loss and pervasive rust at the abutments. A cautionary tale how a little preventative maintenance back then could have averted this situation now.
At least one other problem the bridge suffers from, aside from the lack of siding, is a leaking roof. When I was out there in June (2016), I noticed that the corrugated roofing is riddled with perforations. It seems to me that the roofing panels were perhaps salvaged from an old barn and re-purposed as roofing for the bridge. Of course, most of the old nail holes don't align with mounting surfaces on the bridge, so there's no doubt that the roof leaks like a sieve.
And a complete lack of any general maintenance. Any span, irregardless of material, needs occasional work. It's unfortunate that this one can't get the restoration it needs...we already have few enough examples of the Paddleford truss system.
Lack of siding will eventually do that to a wooden bridge!
I visited Lord's Creek Covered Bridge earlier this year on June 10, 2016 during a fishing trip throughout the Northeast Kingdom. It is of note that the bridge has now been reinforced with heavy, steel girders. One pair of girders act as stringers, spanning the river and resting on the bridge abutments. Girders have also been added beneath the bridge deck and fastened to the length-wise stringers with heavy u-bolts. Suffice it to say that the bridge's timber trusses, which are still entirely present, have worn to the point that they were likely incapable of bearing their own load; they now serve only to hold up the roof. Even with steel girder reinforcement, it is clear that the timber-framed bridge structure has a distinct negative camber.
I've visited this bridge several times over the years. While it's a shame that the timber trusses have reached the end of their functional lifespan, it's great to see that the bridge was nonetheless saved rather than hastily demolished.
No confirmation yet, but seems likely this will be arson. Having documented this bridge it is sickening to see it reduced to a smoldering heap.
I was trying to find a picture of the bridge crossing rock river before this one. It was located about 1/4 mile upstream on rock river. The footings are still noticeable near the cabin on 10 station rd. Just wondering if you could help. Thanks
7 years on and this exceptional example of an Open-Spandrel concrete arch bridge is still closed awaiting a rehabilitation. It looks like it might take action form the courts to determine who actually owns this bridge (and thus who is on the line for repairs):
In the plus column, the article talks positively about the historic value of this bridge and the need for a rehab. Lets hope preservation wins out...
News article about the 2016 rehabilitation for this bridge:
Looks like their are some concerns to be had about this process. They'll be increasing the weight limit for the bridge by 2 tons, which while written off by the project manager as not an "appreciable amount" (its a 40% increase), is necessitating a complete rebuild of the floor system, and replacement of the upper chord with wider ones. Also with the process they'll be removing the roof, which presents the opportunity for damage to occur (including possibly the incredibly unique elliptical lateral bracing system).
I did appreciate the fact that they got Jan Lewandoski (who did the '94 rehab and who has a solid reputation for in-kind authentic rehabilitation) to comment for the article, and I share the concerns he mentions with the project.
Like the other bridge on this path, this was bridge was found to be posted "closed to all traffic" as of June 2016, but no barricading to prevent access. Thankfully the trusses are in excellent shape, with no signs of distress. The wooden walkway is spongy / tender though, hence its closing. Still safe to cross though, just watch your step.
Apparently its been like this for a little while:
Found this bridge to be posted "closed to all traffic" as of June 2016, but no barricading to prevent access. Thankfully the trusses are in excellent shape, with no signs of distress. The wooden walkway is spongy / tender though, hence its closing. Still safe to cross though, just watch your step.
Apparently its been like this for a little while:
This long gone bridge indirectly made the local news...evidently the south abutment was still extant, but it collapsed on 5/22/16 with a landslide that is threatening a home.
I was surprised to see this bridge still standing with no sign of construction, as its been on the docket for demolish and replacement for a while now. In looking into it, there seems to have been a proposed change of plans to utilize a new alignment next to the old bridge (link added in sources). The original plan called for demolishing the truss and replacing, which would have required a lengthy detour.
The new alignment is straight and offers better visibility and roadway alignment, but it goes through an existing house, so acquiring the new ROW will take time, with the current projected date being 2018 at the earliest.
If they proceed on this new alignment though, it should open the idea of leaving the existing truss span in place, instead of demolishing. It would be a tough sell, as standard practice is not to bypass/abandon here in VT (I can only think of 1 such example in the state), however this bridge is significant as a example of a multi-span through truss, the likes of which are all but extinct here.
A very interesting read on the history and construction of this bridge, as there was quite a bit of politics that went into building a stone bridge at this era. Also interesting to know that there could have been a Pittsburgh Bridge Co. bridge here had the contract not been overturned!
As its a modern truss, I'm not sure it really matters but, I don't think we can justify calling it a Pratt through truss. Stylistically, its a bowstring but I doubt it functions as a true bowstring from the old days.
That said, its nice to see the crossing complete and something bowstring-like used.
Info about the current rehabilitation project:
The Bridge is called The Fox Stand Bridge. The approach to the bridge washed out during Hurricane Irene but was replaced soon after.
The brook, which runs through Wardsboro, is called the Whetstone Brook. This bridge, however, is in Jamaica, not Wardsboro.
I just had a look at the Crown Point Bridge on Nathan Holth's website. That was one awesome bridge! I missed it...
Plus, the silver railings mitigate the loss of the Crown Point Bridge.
Art Deco Revival seems like an appropriate description given that this is a near replica of the Hill to Hill Bridge in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
It does look quite superhero-esque...
Immortal, strong jawed structure, superhero!
Boring! Blasé! Common-place!
If laughter is the best medicine, these comments are going to keep us alive until 2115.
Enlightenment? Simple, one look at the proportions of this bridge.
Actually by 2115, this will be the ONLY bridge. Apocalyptic structural integrity was built into the physics.
One look at the profile of this bridge will immediately double facial symmetry, triple life-expectancy, and quadruple one's generosity of spirit.
One look at the profile of this bridge will immediately double facial symmetry, triple life-expectancy, and quadruple one's generosity of spirit.
The poor Piss Creek Bridge must be feeling unloved with all of the attention being given to this one today.
Where is the Half Star Bandit when you need him?
I'm also going to call bullshit on the 4.25 star rating with 43 votes.
The bridge was added by the architect's business partner, so the "praise" in the description is pretty self-masturbatory if you ask me.
It is not the bridge that is drawing attention here, it is the gushing praise in the description and some comments.
It's kind of like the opposite of trolling; drawing comments by being overly positive. LOL
Actually, Anonymous, we are talking about the Brooklyn Bridge. By the year 2115, historians will consider the two bridges to be of roughly the same architectural significance.
Come along come along with your boatie and your song
My ain bonnie maids, my twa bonnie maids
For the night it is dark and the Redcoat is gane
And ye are dearly welcome back to Skye once again
In terms of fantasy it looks like a Jedi-bridge.
In terms of insanity, it is comparable to the Asylum Bridge in Kansas.
Aluminum handrails and Eastern Hemlock decking do not make up culverts.
Healthy debate is productive where we learn and share ideas objecitvely. Those that like this bridge have conveyed that they too like historic bridges as well and have never been directly offensive, simply stating their point, albeit it exaggerated at times for sure (the comment about the New River Gorge Bridge brought some needed light and humor). Those opposed to the bridge have been directly negative, denying any existence that this bridge looks simple and clean. I wonder if we're looking at the same pictures... We're not talking about the Brooklyn bridge here no, but one should objectively admit that this bridge is certainly more than acceptable...
In terms of beauty, it is comparable to the Mackinac Bridge in Michigan.
In terms of engineering, the bridge is a beam on some concrete with some steel handrails, made out of the same materials as culverts. It may do the job. And it may look acceptable, but now these glorified comments have crossed into spam. I would rather see a historic truss here, as would many other contributing members of this site.
Let it be. It does its job. It's not offensive.
In terms of engineering feats, this footbridge is comparable to the New River Gorge Bridge in West Virginia.
Wrought Iron would be a good choice here for durability.
Galvanized steel is a good choice here for durability
You definitely need 65 tons of concrete for the abutments in Vermont even for shorter span bridges because the snow melt runoff is fierce.
I love the way the light reflects off the aluminum in picture number 10!
Wonder how much it cost because a reused pony truss would have worked well for about 40k. There are so many that need homes.
Fits in there nicely with the snow.
The aluminum railing looks sleek. I've never seen one like it. I agree. Also here the galvanized steel and the decking looks really sweet. The size is makes sense allowing snowmobiles and small excavators to cross without making the opening too wide for larger vehicles.
We all have our opinions which is great. I like historic truss bridges but here would it be too dark for these particular surroundings with all the evergreen trees. This bridge works because it's light and airy here in the location.
I'm with Robert Elder on this one - It's certainly not a bad bridge, but despite the bombastic description, it's not really much more than a simple beam bridge with nice wood decking. Bridge-strength concrete for abutments? It's a pedestrian bridge.
The "truss" is just a decorative railing bolted to the decking.
I'd be much more pleased to see an historic truss bridge here, they could just put in bollards or boulders to prevent large vehicles from trying to cross.
I like the Ironton-Russell Bridge because it makes a cool noise when I drive across it.
Take a deep breath, clear your head, enlarge the first picture in the scroll and let's all admit to ourselves that yes new bridges when done well can look awesome!
This site is seemingly a place mostly for historic bridges– very cool. But what I've seen of most new bridges, this one almost looks historic itself– also very cool!
Talk about a waste of bandwidth.
Looks cool to me.
The uproar and the insecurity here is strange and unnecessary. If you look at it closely, it fits it well with the environment and makes a stance for the future without being different for different's sake. Everyone loves historic bridges as well, nobody is denying that. This bridge too will one day have a history of its own. Picture 6 indicates pooling water and picture 7 a hearty spring runoff.
I agree, no huge technical leaps in regards to any of the types of bridges for awhile. Aesthetically, this bridge is different. The fact that this bridge has garnered so much attention from this post is reason 1 for uniqueness. Reason 2 would be the combination of galvanized steel and eastern hemlock. Reason 3 would be the railing formation; verticals and horizontals put together in an symmetrically unique fashion. Reason 4 would be, though new, it doesn't look like a oversized green snake than many modern pedestrian bridges resemble. Reason 5, try to find one that looks like it, you can't.
Technically, this is a beam bridge, as in technically there are arch, cantilever, truss, suspension, and cable-stayed bridges. Nothing new under the sun for awhile in terms of any of the basic bridge types.
Looks like the bridges on the Merritt Parkway headed into or from New York City.
Seriously question...how does this bridge stand out for "pure uniqueness"? I have read all of the glowing comments and the flowery essay, but nobody has provided a discussion of what technological advances set this bridge apart from modern stringers. If there is something unique about this bridge, I would love to know what it is. Please be specific.
I think that we are just going to have to agree to disagree. This bridge just looks like a stringer placed on concrete abutments. I just hate to see 19th Century wrought iron trusses sold for scrap when they could be placed on hiking trails such as this one.
Except seeing one that is capable of carrying both tradition and innovation.
I can't say I am a fan of modern welded trusses (MOBs) either. There is nothing better than seeing a relocated historic bridge on a trail like this.
Surely a bit waxed and a bit poetic but I get it. If you look at contemporary designed bridges, they're either generic (boring), historical copies (handsome, but still boring), or awkwardly modern (wonky). Many new pedestrian or small vehicle bridges built today are made to look awkward and asymmetric on purpose which the architect certainly did not do here. No did he reproduce a warren or pratt truss which we've all seen a thousand times. I think this bridge DOES stand out for pure uniqueness; find one that looks like it, you can't– yet it's simple, novel and handsome. Hard to do.
It is not a bad little bridge, but the description sure waxes poetic. My apologies, but I am not THAT impressed. A relocated historic truss would look nice here.
I greatly appreciate the architect's nod to historical proportion and symmetry, yet the bridge doesn't look tired and dated– rather streamlined and forward-looking, with strong sense an optimism. Reminiscent of the American 1930's Works Progress Administration style with Art Deco accents. Rare to see any designed and over engineered like this. Well done; strong, timeless, and easy on the eyes.
Michael: Wonderful photos of the Hammond Bridge. I really miss Vermont. See my new photos from Maryland, Balto. County today...
Middlebury — The historic 19th-century Pulp Mill Covered Bridge reopened to traffic Nov. 9  after being closed in January for renovations. Local officials and representatives of Alpine Construction, the New York-based contractor, were on hand to open the wooden bridge at noon.
The bridge crosses Otter Creek linking Middlebury and Weybridge via Seymour Street.
Alpine Construction began working on the bridge in early January . Alpine got the repair job with a bid of $1.7 million although the final cost of the bridge remains to be published.
The new, old bridge looks superficially like the original but much of it consists of new materials.
Exterior wood, roof, interior work, security lighting and asphalt approaches, upgrade the bridge to the 21st century.
Both lanes are now open to traffic with no warning signs, as in the recent past, permitting only one vehicle on the bridge at a time.
Taxpayers paid for the recent bridge work—most of the money was a grant from the U.S. Government secured through a former Vermont senator.
The exact date of the bridge appears to be a bone of contention among some experts and local observers—1808, 1820, 1850, and 1860 have been suggested for various dates of either the original span or its various improvements and addition of arches.
Regardless of an exact birthdate, the renovated bridge is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is considered, at least by some historians, to be the oldest covered bridge in Vermont, and certainly among the oldest in the U.S.
Jan Lewandosky, a Vermont bridge expert, has said that the year of construction of the (current) span was around 1850.
"Steel truss" is stated in the description, but the photos just show a simple beam bridge...
Any more bridges planned for the park? In my opinion a relocated and restored historic metal truss bridge would be in keeping with the goals and intent of the park. Particularly with short spans like this it is easy to modify a historic bridge to provide a narrower roadway, which also increases capacity for the bridge. Many available historic truss bridges are composed of deterioration-resistant wrought iron, which functions like weathering steel.