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The Copeland Covered Bridge Renovation

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Date: Tue., 16 Nov. 2000
From: David (Bridgeman) Guay
Subject: Copeland News

Hi all; Here is some news on the Copeland covered bridge in Saratoga Co., N.Y. World Guide # 32-46-01. All this information I got from the carpenter on site.

All the floor boards have been removed, and will be reinstalled within 2+weeks. He was saying that things are going very well so far, and they don't believe how far along they are.

Both bottom chords have been replaced. They are now brand new, and are of a larger size than the originals. They were from the large pines that were felled right next to the bridge, and were shaped by chain saw right next to the bridge. They also replaced the three logs that ran parallel to the chords that the floor boards were laying on. They were also made from pine trees that were felled near the bridge while clearing the area. They were flattened on one side, and as you look from under the bridge, the three center logs still have bark showing.

The Bed Timbers have been replaced on each end. These are what the trusses rest upon.

The Queen post braces have all got rot on the bottom where they connect to the bottom chord. They have already replaced the bottom portions of the south side braces. They cut off about 2.5 feet, and made new bottoms parts and spliced them together. Where the old brace & new brace come together, they are connected with six nuts & bolts. They really look good.

The metal stirups or straps that were used in the original truss Will NOT be used again. They have crackes in them, and the bottom chords are bigger, so they will not fit back on the way they were used. I was told that the original metal straps were made from wagon wheels. I believe that the carpenter said that the Edinburgh Historical Society was going to put them in the Edinburgh Rural Museum. I hope this doesn't affect the National Register standing.

A new roof will also be installed. It MAY be done this fall, but if the weather turns for the worse, it could be put off until next spring. It will be a metal roof, in a light brown color. Some additional roofing boards that the metal roof will be installed on are being added too. I assume for more support for the roof to carry the snow loads.

The siding will not be replaced, but only boards will be replaced that need to be replaced. There was supposed to be some work done on the abutments, but I couldn't see where it was done. Maybe it was where the new bed timbers were installed.

Many trees have been cut on the hill side across Beechers Creek, and much more sunlight will get to the bridge now. Next to North Shore Road (county Rt-4) they have brought in a lot of fill & large boulders for additional parking.

I did notice that there was a metal pipe coming out of the new fill and boulders. Maybe they put in some sort of drainage pipe to carry the water away from the bridge. That is a problem they have had in the past. Water used to run down the hill and right into the bridge. I believe that is what caused a lot of rot in the bottom chords on that end.

That's what I saw today. I will try and get up there again in a couple of weeks and send out another update then.

David Guay

Copeland Covered Bridge rehabilitation progress
Copeland Covered Bridge rehabilitation progress
Copeland Covered Bridge rehabilitation progress


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