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V.A.O.T. Historic Bridge Committee Proceedings

Historic Covered Bridge Committee Notes of July 18, 2001


Present at Meeting:

  • Committee members in attendance:
    • David Hoyne
    • Warren Tripp
    • Eric Gilbertson
    • Scott Gurley (for Scott Newman)
    • Sue Scribner
  • Also in attendance were:
    • Roger Whitcomb - Project Manager
    • Todd Sumner - Project Engineer
    • John Weaver representing the Vermont Covered Bridge Society

This meeting was a follow-up to the meeting held with the Newfane Selectboard on June 28, 2001 in Newfane. The Town had been clear at this meeting that they were looking for either a rehabilitation of the historic covered bridge or a new covered bridge, but they were not interested in any rehabilitation that maintained the glulam beams currently in place.

Three different scenarios were discussed; they are:

  1. Remove the 8' high glulam beams currently in place, perform necessary repairs/replacement of members, and then use glulam beams underneath the structure as a supplemental system.
  2. Repair the historic bridge, recognizing that a large percentage of the members will need to be replaced.
  3. Construct a new covered bridge on the same location.

The town will support any of the above scenarios as long as the finished product is aesthetically pleasing once completed. Discussion on the present condition of the bridge. All agreed it is in very poor condition. All the lattices have been spliced. It was questioned whether the dead load can be reduced enough to allow some members to either be saved or replaced with same size members. There was a lot of discussion relative to possibly using a FRP floor system. Because of the present condition of the bridge and the loads/traffic it carries, this may be a good place to experiment with this. It may allow for the top chord and some other members to be retained and repaired and any replacement of members to be of the same size as the originals.

Option #1 was discussed but it was felt that the abutments would need to be changed to accommodate glulam beams underneath -- this was felt not to be a viable option here. The committee was in favor of moving forward with Option #2. Project Manager Whitcomb is to investigate the use of an experimental floor system with the goal being to retain as many members as possible and replace any necessary ones with members of the same size. The committee should be updated on this as the plans progress.

[This article was originally posted February 21, 2002]

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