LYNDON, Vt. (AP) — The town of Lyndon in Vermont is buying a privately-owned historic covered bridge and land abutting it for $10,000.
The Select Board on Monday entered into a purchase-and-sale agreement with Arthur and Jeanne Elliott, the owners of the Sanborn bridge, the Caledonian Record reported. The deal was approved by a vote of 3-0.
The purchase means that Lyndon owns all five covered bridges in town and allows the community to move forward with plans to turn the bridges into tourist attractions.
The town is excited to have acquired the bridge, said Nicole Gratton, the town's planning director.
“We know that we can support its continued existence as a historical and cultural icon in the community and ensure its presence for generations to come. We are working hard to take care of the bridges in town and have them shine bright in our community,” Gratton said.
Historic covered bridges in Vermont and New Hampshire are a key attraction for visitors. The Cornish-Windsor bridge, which spans the Connecticut River between New Hampshire and Vermont, is the longest wooden bridge in the United States and the longest two-span covered bridge in the world.
The Sanborn bridge was built around 1870 and is the last of the Paddleford truss bridges that once crossed the Passumpsic River, the newspaper reported. The bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.
It was formerly called the Centre bridge and once connected Lyndonville and Lyndon Center until it was taken out of service in 1960 and moved one mile (1.6 kilometers) to its current location.
The town has secured $100,000 in grant funding through the Preservation Trust of Vermont to support major bridge repairs. It will seek additional funding through federal and state sources to cover the estimated $1.3 million cost of bridge and abutment reconstruction.
Editors note: Our thanks to Dana Gray of the Caledonian-Record for granting permission to republish this article.