The project began November 2008 and has a completion date of October 30, 2009. The winning bid was $1,085,869.93 made by Alpine Construction of of Schylerville, New York. The bid includes the temporary bridge (see the Engineering Study above).
The Hutchins Bridge, built in 1883 by the Jewett brothers, stands in a quiet valley out of view of the busy highway. A narrow unpaved road leads the traveler to the portal of the barn-red bridge. It is easy to imagine, in this isolated spot, that one has returned to the nineteenth century.
The Agency of Transportation Covered Bridge Study team inspected the bridge in 1994. The team found it to be in such poor condition that they recommended prompt attention to restore its capacity to safely support traffic. The Agency asked the town to close the bridge until repairs are performed
Instead, I-beams were installed and the bridge continued in use by the dwelling beyond.
It would be wrong to think of the Hutchins Bridge's history as idyllic and bucolic. This was a busy spot in 1883, as the moss-covered foundations just south of the west portal reveal. Here, Joseph Hutchins' five-lathe factory produced 2,000 butter tubs a day. The bridge resounded with the arrival of the mill workers at dawn, and again with their departure at dusk. Teams of horses clattered through, bringing logs of spruce, hemlock, and basswood, and other teams took the completed butter tubs away. The bustle stopped only when night fell. Over the years, as industry and society changed, the activity waned, until it finally stopped altogether when the factory shut its doors for good.