V.A.O.T. Historic Bridge Committee Proceedings
Historic Covered Bridge Committee Notes of November 26, 2001
Present at Meeting:
- Committee members:
- J. B. McCarthy
- David Hoyne
- Warren Tripp
- Bob McCullough
- Scott Newman
- Eric Gilbertson
- Nancy Boone
- Sue Scribner
- Also in attendance were:
- Roger Whitcomb - Project Manager
- Gary Rogers - Project Manager
- Scott Gurley
- Joe Nelson representing the Vermont Covered Bridge Society
Several different projects were discussed as well as the Covered Bridge Preservation Plan, as follows:
- Brattleboro Creamery Bridge: A new bridge will be built and the Creamery Bridge will be closed off
to vehicular traffic, i.e. serving in an adaptive use capacity. The bridge will need some repairs and/or
replacement of members and this work will be part of the replacement bridge project, Brattleboro BRF 2000(21)S.
It is envisioned that this will be a 2-year project -- during the first year the new bridge will be built and
during the second year the covered bridge will be rehabilitated. Scott Gurley questioned whether or not the
project can be cleared under Section 106 or if he should wait until more detail is available on needed repairs.
Roger Whitcomb reported that he thinks the bottom chord will need to be replaced but any necessary
replacement can be expected to be "in kind", i.e. same size as original members. He plans to follow the
recommendations of McFarland-Johnson, Inc. as presented in the covered bridge report from 1995. Warren Tripp
mentioned the new technology available for filling holes with epoxy materials and felt this might be a good
place to experiment with this. Federal funding restrictions were discussed as well.
The committee feels that Section 106 can be cleared but would like an opportunity to comment on plans
when more detail is available.
- Cambridge Canyon Bridge: The consultant for this rehabilitation, Tim Grant with McFarland-Johnson,
Inc., had submitted an updated report to Project Manager Gary Rogers. The new items proposed are replacement
of 2 end diagonals and an end post. The committee did not have any issues with these proposed replacements.
Mr. Grant also proposed adding mortar to the east abutment. This created much discussion and it was questioned
whether adding mortar could actually cause future damage to the substructure. Eric Gilbertson requested that
a stone mason be hired to look at the substructure to see if it can instead be rechinked/re-laid. It was also
questioned whether geotextile material should be added to prevent loss of fines.
Project Manager Gary Rogers agreed to arrange for a stone mason to look at the substructure and will report
back to committee members on the outcome.
- Newfane Williamsville Bridge: A committee member questioned the results of the last committee meeting
for this bridge and the agreed-upon recommendations for rehabilitation. In particular, it was questioned whether
or not glulam beams could be installed underneath the structure so that less replacement of members might be necessary.
Scott Newman offered to pursue this further on the basis of hydraulics and the grade of the bridge. Project
Manager Roger Whitcomb has been, and will continue to, move forward as agreed to by the committee at the last
meeting. Should Scott Newman feel it is appropriate after his investigations, he may request that the committee
revisit the proposed treatments for this structure.
- Weathersfield Upper Falls Bridge: Roger Whitcomb has met with the town to start work on this project.
The town is satisfied with the current load rating of the bridge. As a more detailed scope of the proposed
rehabilitation work is developed, Roger will update the committee.
- Pittsford Cooley Bridge: National Historic Covered Bridge Preservation Program funds were received
for this project, often referred to as "Jeffords' money". Sue Scribner has met with the town and they are
satisfied with the current load rating of the bridge. We are in the process of procuring consultant services
and hope to have a summary report of the present condition and proposed work for review by the committee in
- Preservation Plan: The section describing the committee role was discussed and adjusted slightly.
Working to have this signed-off on by the end of this calendar year.
[This article was originally posted February 13, 2002]