Back to Lincoln Gap Bridge Reconstruction
The Warren Covered Bridge Inspection Report In Brief:
Based on the May 1995 Study
Description: Constructed in 1879-1880 by Walter Bagley. "The bridge at Warren
Village is the only covered wooden bridge to survive in the town of Warren. The bridge has an
asymmetrical design: The east portal is vertical while at the west portal the upper side walls
project differentially to meet an overhanging gable end."
Bridge Characteristics: Queenpost Truss - 12 x 12 posts, 10 x 12 braces; Stringers
10 x 12.5 spaced at 2' intervals; Truss bottom chord - 12.5 x 12.5; Top chord - 10 x 11.75;
Length - 54.9'; Gable Overhang - 4'5"; Horizontal Clearance - 13.33' ; Vertical Clearance at
Truss - 10.17'; Vertical Clearance at Center of Bridge - 12.75'. Deck - 2 x 4 nail laminate; Siding -
vertical 'inch' plank unpainted; Roofing - cedar shingles; Abutments - cast concrete.
Inspection report: May 1995
Structural Evaluation: "The analytical investigation concludes that the structural capacity
of the bridge, when in good condition, is adequate to support vehicle weights of up to 16,000
pounds (limited by the capacity of the stringers). Further the analysis indicates that the trusses and
floor beams could support vehicle weights of up to 40,000 pounds (which is considered to be the
maximum prudent limitation for a structure of this type). Major structural repairs are identified as
necessary at the time of this investigation that reflect on the capacity of the structure; however,
continued use of this structure, subject to no trucks, assumes that the Town will correct the
identified deficiencies in the near future and provide necessary and proper maintenance
"The preceding paragraph makes reference to a
structure in "good condition". That terminology indicates physical configuration and material
properties similar to that at the time of original construction, i.e. "Like new". Good condition
components have no significant defects, such as: cracks, crushing, buckles, areas of rot, insect
attack, or insect damage. Good condition also implies proper connections including tight and solid
joinery and no missing components."
Traffic Study results: 1991:250 vehicles per day, projected: 350 for year 2012.
Recommendations: "Having considered the traffic needs at this site, condition of the
structure, and merits of the various preservation options, we have identified Option B as the . . .
appropriate short term course of action to provide for preservation of this covered bridge for the
future. That is continue to use the structure for light vehicles and direct heavier truck traffic to
"We recommend the following repair measures
to improve current conditions and to support the commitment for long-term preservation: Roof
repairs as necessary; repair cracked bottom chords, floor beams, and stringers; repair spalled
concrete on west abutment and wingwalls; provide guard rails, Install new signs per VAOT
The cost for repairs identified in Option B is
estimated to be approximately $50,000.
A longer-term course of action should include
adoption of Option D with floor replacement.
The Covered Bridge Inspection Program:
In the spring of 1995, the Vermont Agency of Transportation completed the inspection of the
seventy-five covered bridges that serve state and town highways. In the course of the survey,
some of the bridges were found to be unsafe and were closed to traffic -- others were found to be
in need of repair.
The inspection program was part of a
long-range plan to oversee public safety, plan for current and future traffic needs, and to preserve
all of the covered bridges in the state. The structure of each bridge was inspected for safety, and
the bridge traffic was evaluated. The results of the study were turned over to the local
communities with recommendations to help them decide whether to repair, rehabilitate, or replace
their covered bridges. The towns, ultimately responsible for a share of the funding, will decide
what work will be done.
The recommendations include one of five
options based on the condition of the bridge and the type of traffic the bridge supports:
Option A: The community may close the bridge to vehicular traffic, with traffic diverted
to existing roads and bridges.
Option B: The community may continue to use the bridge for light vehicular traffic, with
heavier truck traffic diverted to other routes.
Option C: The community may close the bridge to traffic and construct an adjacent
Option D: The community may rehabilitate the bridge to support moderate traffic
Option E: The community may replace the bridge and move it to a nearby preservation
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P.O Box 267, Jericho, VT 05465-0267
No part of this web site may be reproduced without the written permission of Joseph C.
Text and Photographs Copyright ©, 1997, Joseph C. Nelson
This file posted July 23, 2000, revised July 26, 2000