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The official opening ceremony for the New North Hartland Bridge is to take place 11:00 a.m., Saturday, October 13, 2001, however, according to Tom Close, VAOT resident engineer, traffic has been traveling through the structure during non-working hours since Friday afternoon, October 5.
Photos upper left and right, and lower left, taken by Tom Chase. The photo at lower right was taken by Jim Smedley, covered bridge enthusiast from Baltimore, Maryland.
Man bites dog! A steel and concrete bridge is being replaced by a wooden covered bridge instead of the other way around! Jan Lewandoski of Restoration and Traditional Building is the contractor.
Two bridges crossed the Ottauquechee River at the North Hartland Dam, mainland to island, island to mainland. The concrete bridge has failed, but the Willard Covered Bridge is in great shape, said Lewandoski. "The Willard Bridge, better than most, it's taller, 16 feet from the bottom of the bottom to the top of the top, it has positive camber, it's about 118 feet long."
Two covered bridges served the causeway until a hurricane took one of the bridges out in 1938. "They replaced it with a concrete bridge," said covered bridge restorer Lewandoski.
"The town has decided they want to put a wooden bridge back in there, and the State went along with that. And because one wooden bridge already exists, there is no point in making the other wooden bridge any wider or taller than that one, so I didn't have to build 24 feet of roadway or something like that, just 17 feet of roadway like the existing one has. It does you no good to get into the one bridge if you can't get through the other one."
Asked for the name of the new bridge, Lewandoski replied: "The bridge has no particular
name although they were known as the twin bridges. The existing bridge is sometimes called the
Willard Bridge after a prominent family in North Hartland.
Top right: The new 88-foot Town Truss bridge stands in a field near the
Photographer Tom Chase is the VTrans Resident Engineer on the North Hartland covered bridge project
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