Bartonsville Covered Bridge celebration set for SaturdayBy Susan Smallheer
Staff Writer | January 21,2013BARTONSVILLE — Let the hoopla begin.
Rockingham will hold a covered bridge party Saturday at 11 a.m. to celebrate the reopening of the rebuilt Bartonsville Covered Bridge, one of Tropical Storm Irene’s most famous victims.
The 1870 bridge was swept off its abutments by the raging floodwater of the Williams River, and since the bridge floated down the river, Bartonsville residents have been fighting to have the historic wooden lattice-truss bridge rebuilt.
The bridge, which is longer by 17 feet, higher by a few inches, and stronger than the original bridge, was a hive of activity Friday afternoon as more than 20 construction workers from Cold River Bridges and Iron Horse Standing Seam Roofing were putting on the bridge’s new green standing seam roof and putting the new pine siding on the 176-foot bridge — both sides. Workers were also measuring and cutting the oak running boards for the floor of the bridge.
“The bridge will be ready,” said Travis Hodgdon of Chester, one of the foremen on the project for Cold River, a local bridge construction firm based in Walpole, N.H. Wednesday’s snowstorm put a crimp in the roof plans, he said, since the roof has to be laid on a swept-clear roof deck.
Sue Hammond, whose now-famous home video caught the demise of the bridge that fateful Aug. 28, 2011, afternoon, said all of Vermont’s top politicians had been invited to the event. So far, only Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., has sent his regrets.
“I’ve got my fingers crossed,” said the Bartonsville resident, adding U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., would definitely be attending, along with county and local officials.
After a short ceremony at the bridge, including the unveiling of the new bridge’s sign, Hammond said the festivities will adjourn to MacLaomainn’s Scottish Pub in Chester, for more talks about the bridge and its history. She said Deb Brown, a native of Rockingham and owner of the pub, had been very supportive of the rebuilding, hosting several fundraisers for the bridge.
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