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Below is a summary of events in the effort by The Town of Johnson to replace the lost Power House Covered Bridge (WGN 45-08-08). For the latest news, go to - Secretary of Transportation Brian Searles came to Johnson on Tuesday June 18 and visited the Power House covered bridge. Full details of his visit are on the Town web site.

The Big Day! The Ribbon Cutting Held - June 29, 2002
Community Work Day Held June 22 at Power House Bridge - June 25, 2002

For the Recent History of the Power House Bridge in Photos
click items below

Power House Bridge Lost to Snow Load - Mar. 8, 2001
Selectboard Meets To Discuss Future of Power House Bridge - April 18, 2001
Selectboard Receives Temporary Bridge Requirements From State - May 21, 2001
Bid For Temporary Bridge Too High! Senator Bartlett Announces Funding - June 4, 2001
Interested in a Covered Bridge Raising Party? - June 18, 2001
Covered Bridge Raising - July 16, 2001
Johnson Covered Bridge Bid Deadlines Set - Sept.. 5, 2001
Johnson Covered Bridge Bid Won by Blow & Cote - Nov. 26, 2001
"Snow Breaking" Held at the Johnson Covered Bridge - Feb. 19, 2002
Work Begins on the Johnson Covered Bridge - Mar. 27, 2002
Work Continues on the Johnson Covered Bridge - April 2, 2002
First of two Trusses Nearly Complete for the Johnson Covered Bridge - April 12, 2002
First Truss Completed for the Johnson Covered Bridge, Construction Begun on 2nd - April 19, 2002
Second Truss Near Completion for the Johnson Covered Bridge - May 6, 2002
New Power House Bridge Trusses Placed over River - May 9, 2002
New Power House Bridge Construction Continues Between Rains - May 16, 2002
New Power House Bridge Construction Continues. - May 23, 2002
Impressive Progress as New Power House Bridge Construction Continues. - June 3, 2002
Power House Bridge Ready For New Roofing. - June 7, 2002
Power House Bridge Roofed and Ready. - June 21, 2002

Work Begins on the Johnson Covered Bridge

Work on the new Power House Bridge delayed by late March snowfall.
           Photo by Joe Nelson, March 27, 2002
March 27, 2002 -
Eric Osgood, Town of Johnson Selectboard Chair, announced on Friday, March 22, that work has begun at the Power House Bridge site. The Contractor, Blow and Cote of Morrisville put temporary wooden safety rails on the existing bridge deck and brought in building material and equipment. The bridge deck remains blocked to traffic.
       Interested citizen Phil Thompson reported on March 26 that work was underway and that "They have one beam mortised and another beam attached to it."

"Snow Breaking" Held at the Johnson Covered Bridge

Snow Breaking
Assembled for the "Snow Breaking" ceremony at the Power House Bridge are, from left to right: Mark Woodward, State Representative for Johnson/Eden; Eric Osgood, Selectboard chair; Brad Reed, Selectman; Chris Parker, Trustee Chair; Franklin Hooper, Selectman; Blain Deslisle, Selectman/Road Commissioner.
           Photo by Joe Nelson, February 19, 2002
February 19, 2002 -
At eight-o-clock Tuesday morning with the thermometer showing minus one degree Fahrenheit, several Johnson residents assembled for a ground-breaking ceremony anticipating the construction of the new Power House Bridge.
       However, the ground being as hard as it is in February, a "Snow Breaking" had to serve.
       The Power House Covered Bridge Committee had planned that volunteers from the town were to construct the bridge under the direction of the building contractor, however this was found to be impractical due to the restraints of the contractor's insurance, said Johnson resident Mark Patch.
       Except for the Southern Yellow Pine that will be used for the trusses, the community has provided local hemlock and spruce timber for the rest of the project, Patch said. Volunteers from the community will be able to do some token work on the bridge, he said.
       Construction will begin when the weather moderates.

Johnson Covered Bridge Bid Won by Blow & Cote

November 26, 2001 -
The Johnson Select Board was presented with the recommendations of the Power House Bridge Committee, to accept the bid of Blow & Cote to rebuild the Covered Bridge at a bid of 139,855 dollars and a completion date of July 1, 2002.
      The Board so moved and accepted the recommendations of the Committee. The Select Board appreciates all the time and effort put into this project by the committee members, and the work accomplished by the Chairman Daryl West.
      Thanks to all. - Eric T. Osgood, Select Board chair

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Johnson Covered Bridge Bid Deadlines Set

September 5, 2001 -
On September 4th the Powerhouse Bridge committee met to review a draft of the Scope of Work prepared by the state Structures Engineering Department. With a few basic changes being made we are in hopes of putting the project back to bid during the week of September 17th.
      We are on track for a bid deadline of November 5th and hope to have a contractor selected within the following week. The contractor will be selected based on a number of factors including price, experience, design, and willingness to allow community involvement.
      Once a contractor has been selected, we will determine what boards and timbers may be harvested from local trees, and promptly harvest and mill the necessary material. We look forward to organizing a weekend in May when local folks can pitch in and be a part of the reconstruction of the bridge. The construction is scheduled to be completed June 15th 2002.
      The completed bridge will very closely resemble the bridge that collapsed in March, with the most visible change being a standing seam metal roof, compared to the cedar shingled roof that was on the previous bridge. The metal roof will allow the snow to slide freely and help prevent overloading of the structure.
      The Queenpost construction will aesthetically resemble the old bridge but will not be expected to carry the load of the traffic. The new bridge will rely on the main steel support rails to carry the live load of the traffic, with the queenpost frame being designed to carry the dead load of the walls and roof.
Daryl West, Committee Chair

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Covered Bridge Raising

July 16, 2001 -
This select board meeting was held to determine if there was enough community support for contributing to the re-construction of the Covered Bridge. There was over 30 people present in support of the idea and project. After a good amount of questions and answers the Board voted to establish a committee with at least 3 board members to take over the project and move forward.
         The Bridge committee with 3 board members and 5 community members was given the authority to head up this project; to include setting the time table, select the construction firm, determine what amount of contribution the citizens will be able to make, and coordinate such. Board member Daryl West was named the Chair.
      We will be keeping all informed as this project continues.
Eric T. Osgood: Selectboard Chair

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interested in a Covered Bridge Raising Party?

June 18, 2001 -
Mike Patch gave a very strong sales pitch and convincing proposal, along with John Sullivan's support. The readers digest version of Mike's proposal was to have the Town come together with volunteers, under the watchful supervision of a knowledgeable covered bridge craftsmen, and perform the labor of reconstructing the covered bridge. This would be accomplished on weekends, and moved in place as the final phase of the weekend project.
      Mike's argument was for a community heritage linkage to the bridge, for community spirit revival, positive Town publicity, and not to forget possibility of $$ savings. He continued with the image of pictures being taken at different phases, with the Towns people working on the project, and posted for all future generations to see. A turn of the century "Barn raising concept for the Power House Covered Bridge". Another added touch, was to log some land the Town owns, and use the timbers from this land in the bridge, to reinforce the local contribution and linkage to the new bridge.
      As I stated Mike presented a very good sales pitch for this idea, and was able to convince the skeptical Board to at least explore the idea. The main concern for the Selectboard as they looked around the room, was the 2 faces in the room aside from the Selectboard would be the only ones volunteering for this major undertaking. The Board agreed to post a notice in the paper for all persons interested in going forward with such a project, to attend our next Selectboard meeting (Monday July 16 at 7p.m.) at the Municpal office. If we have the number of volunteers that Mike feels confident we will, and the enthusiasm level to see this project proceed in this fashion, we will form a committee to organize such a project and proceed in this fashion.
      If you would be interested in serving on such a committee, and/or volunteering in the Raising party, please plan to attend our next Board meeting. Hope to see you there.
Eric T. Osgood: Selectboard Chair

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Bid For Temporary Bridge Too High
Senator Bartlett Announces Funding

Johnson, VT, June 4, 2001 - Attendance by Selectboard Members Daryl West, Brad Reed, Blaine Delisle, and Eric Osgood. Rosemary Audibert Town Clerk, Senator Susan Bartlett, Representative Mark Woodward, and Robert C. Philbrook from the News and Citizen.
         Senator Bartlett announced she was successful in getting $250,000.00 into the AOT budget for the purpose of reconstructing the Power House Covered Bridge.
         Our meeting was for the purpose of selecting a contractor to place guardrails on the bridge so we could open it back up to traffic. We had only one bid submitted. Before the board opened the bid, they discussed what was a comfortable amount for this temporary option of opening the bridge for traffic with the knowledge it would be for about 10 months to a year time period. The board felt 12 to 15 thousand would be a reasonable cost. We then opened the bid from Blow & Cote, their bid was for $29,520.00. The board decided to leave the bridge closed and not place guard rails, but to move quickly on the bidding process to rebuild the covered bridge.
         From here, the board agreed to let Road Commissioner and Selectman Blaine Delisle draft a letter of intent to AOT, and draft a notice for bid.
         Thanks must be extended to both our Senator and Representative for the work they did for securing this money.
Eric T. Osgood: Selectboard Chair

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Selectboard Receives Temporary Bridge
Requirements From State

Johnson, VT, May 21, 2001 - The Selectboard received from the State AOT, spec. requirements for guard rails to be attached to the Power House Bridge deck. The board will meet June 4 to select a bid, and as part of the bid we are looking for who can finish the rail installation the soonest. The board's intentions is to have the bridge open ASAP for traffic.
         The Selectboard's hope and intention is still to rebuild the Covered bridge. Sen. Bartlett and Rep. Woodward have been working very hard in the closing days of the legislative session to secure the money for the Town to be able to rebuild the structure.
         With the events of recent, Sen. Jefford's influence and ability to secure the funds for Covered Bridges as he previously could, remains to be seen. We will post updates as they develop. Thanks.
Eric T. Osgood: Select Board Chair

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Joe Nelson, P.O Box 267, Jericho, VT 05465-0267,

No part of this web site may be reproduced without the written permission of Joseph C. Nelson
This file posted August 5, 2001, revised June 25, 2002