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The Warren Covered Bridge Inspection Report In Brief

Based on the May 1995 Study


Constructed in 1879-1880 by Walter Bagley. "The bridge at Warren Village is the only covered wooden bridge to survive in the town of Warren. The bridge has an asymmetrical design: The east portal is vertical while at the west portal the upper side walls project differentially to meet an overhanging gable end."

Bridge Characteristics:

Queenpost Truss - 12 x 12 posts, 10 x 12 braces; Stringers 10 x 12.5 spaced at 2' intervals; Truss bottom chord - 12.5 x 12.5; Top chord - 10 x 11.75; Length - 54.9'; Gable Overhang - 4'5"; Horizontal Clearance - 13.33' ; Vertical Clearance at Truss - 10.17'; Vertical Clearance at Center of Bridge - 12.75'. Deck - 2 x 4 nail laminate; Siding - vertical 'inch' plank unpainted; Roofing - cedar shingles; Abutments - cast concrete.

Inspection report: May, 1995

Structural Evaluation: "The analytical investigation concludes that the structural capacity of the bridge, when in good condition, is adequate to support vehicle weights of up to 16,000 pounds (limited by the capacity of the stringers). Further the analysis indicates that the trusses and floor beams could support vehicle weights of up to 40,000 pounds (which is considered to be the maximum prudent limitation for a structure of this type). Major structural repairs are identified as necessary at the time of this investigation that reflect on the capacity of the structure; however, continued use of this structure, subject to no trucks, assumes that the Town will correct the identified deficiencies in the near future and provide necessary and proper maintenance.

"The preceding paragraph makes reference to a structure in "good condition". That terminology indicates physical configuration and material properties similar to that at the time of original construction, i.e. "Like new". Good condition components have no significant defects, such as: cracks, crushing, buckles, areas of rot, insect attack, or insect damage. Good condition also implies proper connections including tight and solid joinery and no missing components."

Traffic Study results: 1991:250 vehicles per day, projected: 350 for year 2012.

Recommendations: "Having considered the traffic needs at this site, condition of the structure, and merits of the various preservation options, we have identified Option B as the...appropriate short term course of action to provide for preservation of this covered bridge for the future. That is continue to use the structure for light vehicles and direct heavier truck traffic to other routes.

"We recommend the following repair measures to improve current conditions and to support the commitment for long-term preservation: Roof repairs as necessary; repair cracked bottom chords, floor beams, and stringers; repair spalled concrete on west abutment and wingwalls; provide guard rails, Install new signs per VAOT standards.

The cost for repairs identified in Option B is estimated to be approximately $50,000.

A longer-term course of action should include adoption of Option D with floor replacement.

The Covered Bridge Inspection Program:

In the spring of 1995, the Vermont Agency of Transportation completed the inspection of the seventy-five covered bridges that serve state and town highways. In the course of the survey, some of the bridges were found to be unsafe and were closed to traffic -- others were found to be in need of repair.

The inspection program was part of a long-range plan to oversee public safety, plan for current and future traffic needs, and to preserve all of the covered bridges in the state. The structure of each bridge was inspected for safety, and the bridge traffic was evaluated. The results of the study were turned over to the local communities with recommendations to help them decide whether to repair, rehabilitate, or replace their covered bridges. The towns, ultimately responsible for a share of the funding, will decide what work will be done.

The recommendations include one of five options based on the condition of the bridge and the type of traffic the bridge supports:

  • Option A: The community may close the bridge to vehicular traffic, with traffic diverted to existing roads and bridges.
  • Option B: The community may continue to use the bridge for light vehicular traffic, with heavier truck traffic diverted to other routes.
  • Option C: The community may close the bridge to traffic and construct an adjacent bypass bridge.
  • Option D: The community may rehabilitate the bridge to support moderate traffic safely.
  • Option E: The community may replace the bridge and move it to a nearby preservation site.


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