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Shoreham Railroad Covered Bridge Rehab underway

Shoreham, Vt, August 19, 2007 - The rehabilitation of the Rutland Railroad covered bridge at Shoreham has been underway for some weeks now, the work being done by Blow and Cote Construction of Morrisville, Vt. The project is scheduled for completion by the end of this year, although progress has been slowed while waiting to receive a shipment of structural timber.
      The plan is to rehabilitate te bridge superstructure (everything above the abutments), new roofing and roof framing, new top chords, the rotted potions of the bottom chords, and "other work". Original fabric in good condition is to be retained. "Other work" includes replacecment of bearing and bolster beams, the installation of collar ties, rafter ties, and new rafter beams into the roof system, as well as end diagonal and bearing plate repairs. The cedar shingles will be replaced with steel standing rib roofing, some siding to be replaced.
      The timber dimensions on this bridge were designed to accomodate late 19th century and early 20th century railroad rolling stock. The top chords each consist of four parallel six by ten timbers with ¾-inch through bolts and oak shear/spacer blocks. The diagonal truss members are 8" by 9" timbers with 2¼-inch (or smaller) Iron hanging rods.
      The Vermont Division for Historic Preservation has received a grant of $300,000 for work on the retired covered railroad bridge in Shoreham.
      The funds are from the federal Transportation Enhancement Program making $2.8 million available to the State of Vermont. Bike paths, Pedestrian walkways, scenic routes and other projects are eligible for funding under this program. The Shoreham bridge grant was one of 40 competing for funds.
      The proposed work on the bridge, properly known as the Rutland Railroad Bridge, was low bid at $829,638.50. The Vermont Agency of Transportation is providing matching funds.
      Repairs were made to the bridge in 1983 which included a new roof, siding, and the eastern abutment.
      The bridge crosses the Lemon Fair River behind a fishing access park and almost out of sight down a tree lined lane that was once the railroad right-of-way, the tracks long gone.
      A historic site marker reads:"SHOREHAM BRIDGE. This 108' Howe Truss railroad bridge is one of only two covered railroad bridges left in Vermont. It was built in 1897 on the 15.6 mile Addison Branch connecting the Rutland Railroad at Leicester Junction with the Delaware and Hudson at Ticonderoga, N.Y. crossing Lake Champlain on a floating bridge at Larrabee's Point. This bridge was last used for railroad traffic in 1951."
      The structure was listed on the National Register of Historic places as an engineering landmark in June 13, 1974 under the name East Shoreham Covered Railroad Bridge.

East Shoreham Railroad Bridge. Photo by Joe Nelson August 19, 2007
East Shoreham RR Covered Bridge, south portal view
Photo by Joe Nelson, August 19, 2007

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Joe Nelson, P.O Box 267, Jericho, VT 05465-0267
This file posted 03/25/2008