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Much ado about the Warren covered bridge

At the Warren Select Board meeting that took place on Tuesday, March 12, much of the discussion centered on the town’s covered bridge, which was damaged after an oversized truck attempted to drive through it last Friday.

In the process of getting stuck, the Massachusetts’s Vance Delivery Corporation truck “rubbed against a good many structural components of the bridge,” public works director Barry Simpson said, and it took over two hours to remove it.

Although the resulting damage—including removed wind braces—does not compromise the bridge’s overall structural integrity, Simpson explained, Warren will have to replace some of its parts.

Right now, the town—as well as the sheriff and the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans)—is working on submitting a report to its insurance company, and the select board will make collecting estimates for repairs a “priority,” chair Andy Cunningham said.

But even without last week’s incident, Warren was planning for repairs to the covered bridge after its western abutment sustained damage from Tropical Storm Irene and the flood of 1998.

The plans include moving the abutment and raising the bridge to allow for increased water flow during flooding, but they’re still “a little bit loosey-goosey,” select board co-chair Bob Ackland said, as the town needs to consider such factors as the hydraulic impact of repairing or removing the historic timber crib dam that lies downstream of the bridge.

 

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