Pulp Mill Covered Bridge will get a major multimillion dollar facelift next summer.
The circa 1820 Pulp Mill Covered Bridge will get a major facelift next summer. Middlebury and Weybridge town officials said the ailing wooden bridge will be extensively rehabilitated, including fixing 19th-century design errors.
The construction project, scheduled for 2012 will cost $2.6 million. Construction will create some traffic snarls for commuters using the bridge which connects Middlebury and Weybridge.
The bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974 and is called a Burr-arch bridge.
Just prior to the Civil War, the original Burr arches were removed, and laminated ones added to King post trusses, changing the bridge type to a King post with Burr arch design, according to Benjamin and June Evans, authors of the definitive study of antique spans titled “New England's Covered Bridges”.
This bridge has many distinctions, according to the authors.
“It is one of only seven double-barreled (two lane) covered bridges in the country, one of only two in the State of Vermont (the Museum Covered Bridge being the other, and the only still carrying regular traffic. It is also the oldest covered bridge in Vermont, and one of the oldest in the country,” according to the Evans.
“The bridge was originally built as a single span, but inherit design problems, and the heavy use has driven almost constant improvements. Amongst those improvements was the addition of two piers in the creek effectively dividing the bridge into 3 spans,” the Evans said. “A non-structural improvement was the addition of a walkway on the outside of the bridge by the Town of Weybridge. Several other rounds of repairs have been made and chronicled extensively at the Vermont Bridges website.”