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Spanning New York State
Covered Bridge News

By Bob and Trish Kane

Delaware County

Fitchs Covered Bridge -- NY 32-13-02 The Fitchs Covered Bridge was awarded an Award of Merit from the American Plywood Association (APA) under the 2002 National Timber Bridge Award Program. This competition is held annually to recognize those structures that represent the premier timber bridge projects in the nation. Many outstanding bridges were considered for this award and 15 winners were chosen. The APA awards recognized two other covered bridges, but Fitchs was the only rehabilitation of an existing covered bridge. The others were new bridges.
       Bridges which received awards in this competition were specifically designed to enhance and protect the delicate environments they span. Congratulations to Delaware County, and especially to Wayne Reynolds, Commissioner of Public Works and Phil Pierce, Deputy Commissioner of Engineering for their determination and dedication to preserving Delaware County's Covered Bridges.

Halcottsville Covered Bridge - NY- 32-13-?? - What ever happened to the new covered bridge that was supposed to be built in Halcottsville? It is still in the works but being bogged down by legal issues which hopefully, should be resolved soon. More to follow on this bridge as soon as these issues are resolved.

Rensselaer/Washington Counties

Buskirk Covered Bridge -- NY 32-42-02/58-04 According to Willie Grimmke, Superintendent of Public Works for Washington County, the Historic Preservation Office has signed off on the rehabilitation plans for the Buskirk Covered Bridge. The NY State Department of Transportation is currently reviewing the design work, and negotiations with the utility company are underway regarding the power lines near the bridge. Bids for the rehabilitation work will be open late this summer. Rensselaer and Washington Counties are exploring the feasibility of a temporary bridge while Buskirk is under construction.
       The Rexleigh and Eagleville Covered Bridges will be rehabbed on the same schedule as Buskirk.

Herkimer County

Salisbury Center Covered Bridge - NY 32-22-01 According to Peter Usselmann, Chairman of the Planning Board in Salisbury Center, they are waiting for approval of the plans by the NY State Department of Transportation. Hopefully, bids for the work will go out in July with the rehabilitation to take place between August and November 2003. By the time of the next newsletter, we should have more news on this project.

Tompkins County

Newfield Covered Bridge -- NY 32-55-01 The Newfield Covered Bridge will be celebrating its 150th Anniversary on July 26th from 2-5 p.m. There will be local entertainment, lots of covered bridge memorabilia, raffles and also an ice cream social. Various organizations are turning out for this exciting event. One of the highlights of the day will be the presentation of the State and National Register of Historic Places plaque. The Newfield Covered Bridge was put on the State Register on December 21, 1999 and on the National Register, February 25, 2000. So, mark your calendars for July 26, 2003 and don't miss this exciting event.

Other News

New York State Driving Tour -- Although there never seems to be enough time in our day, this project continues to go well. Mapping of the preliminary route is almost complete and will soon be sent to those who volunteered to take the tour. The feedback they provide will be invaluable as we continue with this project.

First National Covered Bridge Conference: Best Practices, Care and Repair --I was extremely fortunate to be able to attend the first ever, National Covered Bridge Preservation Conference in Burlington, VT in June. It was an excellent program and although I would love to share everything I learned with you, that just isn't possible.
       Each track I attended was great, but in my personal opinion, and because of my strong interest in covered bridge preservation, I felt the most interesting was Fire Protection and Fire Prevention on Covered Bridges presented by Robert H. Durfee, P.E. of Hoyle, Tanner and Associates, Inc. This paper summarizes the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of the New Hampshire Covered Bridge Task Force that was formed in 1993 to respond to numerous covered bridge fires. I'm confident covered bridge organizations and enthusiasts will find this material extremely helpful as we continue in our efforts to preserve and protect our covered bridges.

Project: Covered Spans of Yesteryear -- Our lost covered bridge project now has an 'official' name. A special thanks to Bill Cockrell from Salem, Oregon and Bill Caswell from Concord, New Hampshire for stepping up to assist with this project. For those of you who don't know, Bill Cockrell is the Newsletter Editor for The Bridge Tender, Oregon's official Covered Bridge Publication. Bill Caswell supervises the CAD/D (Computer Aided Design/Drafting) Section at the New Hampshire DOT and brings a wealth of computer knowledge and expertise to this project. Thanks to both of you for all you have done to get this project off the ground. If you would be interested in researching information on past covered bridges for Project: Covered Spans of Yesteryear for your state, (or adopt another state) we would certainly welcome your assistance. For more information, feel free to email us at: bobtrish68@clarityconnect.com.

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

Copyright © 2003, Bob & Trish Kane
This file posted June 21, 2003