Work under way to shore up bridge
LYNDONVILLE — Work is under way in the Passumpsic River to build a timber crib to support a 140-year-old covered bridge that is in danger of collapsing.
On Thursday, workers brought stone to the site of the privately owned Sanborn bridge and began creating the base for the timbers.
Once the timber structure touches the bridge, The National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges will assume ownership of the bridge from long-time owners Arthur and Jeanne Elliott, who don’t have the $160,000 it’s estimated it will cost to repair the bridge.
Tim Andrews of Barns & Bridges of New England in Gilford, N.H., who is leading the shoring up process, said engineers from Hoyle, Tanner & Associates in Burlington, offered their design services for free.
Attention was focused on the bridge after an employee of a nearby motel called police to warn they felt the bridge was in danger of falling into the river. Police closed the bridge to the public.
The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued expedited permits allowing work in the river.
The plan is to stabilize the bridge by Dec. 1. Next spring, the bridge will be moved to dry ground for full restoration.
David Wright, president of the covered bridge preservation society, said they have begun a fundraising campaign to pay for the repairs.