Here is the most recent report on the status of the Sanborn Covered Bridge from the December 4, 2022 edition of the Caledonian Record newspaper.
LYNDON — The Town of Lyndon has launched a capital campaign to support renovation of the Sanborn Covered Bridge.
The town seeks to raise $100,000 by Dec. 31 in order to secure a $350,000 grant from the Northern Borders Regional Commission (NBRC) for the project.
To do that, the town has launched a $25,000 community fundraising drive.
Hitting that mark will unlock the remaining funds through a $25,000 match from the National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges and at least $50,000 in corporate sponsorships.
Community National Bank and the Lyndon Area Chamber of Commerce have already signed on as corporate sponsors and other businesses/organizations are being sought.
Those wanting to help the town reach its $25,000 fundraising goal can make tax-deductible donations online at www.lyndonvt.org/projects or by check payable to Catamount Film and Arts, PO Box 324, St. Johnsbury, Vt., 05819 (write “Sanborn” in the memo line).
Flyers posted throughout town include a QR code that will re-direct people to the online fundraising portal at https://tickets.catamountarts.org/donations.
“This project has so many positive implications for the Town,” said Planning Director Nicole Gratton. “It can help boost tourism and economic development, it can create trail connections and outdoor space, it can keep Lyndon’s namesake as the “Covered bridge capital of the NEK” alive, but the project needs everyone in this community to give their support by donating to the capital campaign.”
The town has already secured more than $750,000 for project development so far.
That includes the $350,000 NBRC grant to re-frame and re-truss the historic bridge, which is located along Main Street.
Additional grant funding is expected.
The renovated bridge will be the centerpiece for the proposed Sanborn Covered Bridge Park.
Conceptual drawings for the two-acre riverfront park were shown to the Select Board in June. They feature pedestrian paths and seating, open lawns and shade trees, a sculpture, pavilions with educational signage, and kayak/canoe access to the Passumpsic River.
If all goes according to plan, pre-development work will be completed later this year, bridge and abutment work could begin next spring, and the park could open in the fall.
“This is a massive undertaking for a small community and it has lasting transformational potential,” Gratton said.
Sanborn Covered Bridge Park is the crown jewel in efforts to promote, preserve and protect Lyndon’s covered bridges.
Built around 1870, the Sanborn Bridge is the last of the Paddleford truss bridges that once crossed the Passumpsic River. The others were destroyed by the 1927 flood.
Formerly known as the Centre Bridge, it once connected Lyndonville and Lyndon Center. It was taken out of service in 1960 and moved one mile to its current location near the Route 5/114/122 intersection. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.
The Sanborn Bridge nearly fell into the river a decade ago but was saved by emergency repairs in 2013.
Editors note: Our thanks to Paul Hayes of the Caledonian-Record for granting permission to republish this article.