Preservation efforts discussed for covered bridges


TUNBRIDGE (AP) -- The Vermont town of Tunbridge is trying to come up with ways to protect its five covered bridges, built between 1845 and 1902, which are being used every day by modern vehicles.

The weight limits on the bridges range from 3 tons to 8 tons. Their heights range from 9-foot-2 to 10-foot-8.

The Valley News reports ( with no local police force and few tools for enforcement, the selectboard is trying to bring attention to the limitations for drivers.

Officials talk of oversize vehicles hitting the bridge, including a driver pulling a rented trailer getting stuck.

And the town is grappling with repairs to two of the bridges, most of which are probably due to normal wear and tear.

Ideas for drawing attention the bridges’ limitations include posting "passenger vehicle only" or "no trailer" signs at two of the bridges that have close alternative routes, Mill Bridge and Cilley Bridge; posting "truck route" signs; and posting signs closer to Route 110 so that out-of-towners know of a covered bridge ahead of them.

"Perhaps (this is) a good opportunity to enter into some dialogue about what it costs to maintain and repair the bridges, and how being a little bit more intentional in our signage might help in the long run," said Selectboard member Erin Gooch.


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