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Williamsville Bridge in the News
WGN 45-13-05


Newfane - July 18, 2001 The VTrans Historic Covered Bridge Committee met with the Newfane Selectboard in a follow-up to the meeting held on June 28. Committee members attending were: David Hoyne, Warren Tripp, Eric Gilbertson, Scott Gurley and Sue Scribner. Project Manager Roger Whitcomb and Project Engineer Todd Sumner were also in attendance. John Weaver represented the Vermont Covered Bridge Society.
    The Town's position was that they were looking for either a rehabilitation of the historic covered bridge or a new covered bridge, but they were not interested in any rehabilitation that kept the glulam beams currently in place.
    Three different options were discussed; 1) Remove the 8' high glulam beams currently in place, perform necessary repairs of members, and then use glulam beams underneath the structure as a supplemental system. 2) Repair the historic bridge, recognizing that a large percentage of the members will need to be replaced. 3) Construct a new covered bridge on the same location.
    The town will support any of the options as long as the finished product is aesthetically pleasing. In discussing on the present condition of the bridge, all agreed it is in very poor condition. All the lattices have been spliced. It was questioned whether the dead load can be reduced enough to allow some members to either be saved or replaced with same size members.
    Because of the present condition of the bridge and the traffic it carries, this may be a good place to experiment with an Fiber Reinforced Plastic (FRP) floor system. This may allow the top chord and some other members to be retained and repaired and any replacement of members to be of the same size as the originals.
    The committee is in favor of the second option. Project Manager Whitcomb will investigate the use of an experimental floor system with the goal being to retain as many members as possible and replace any necessary ones with members of the same size.
*This article is based on Historic Covered Bridge Committee Notes from the meeting of July 18, 2001 for the Williamsville Covered Bridge, Newfane.

Future of Williamsville Bridge Pondered
WGN 45-13-05

WILLIAMSVILLE, Vt. May 9, 2006 - The plans for the restoration of the Williamsville coveredbridge may well have to be changed.
    In 2000, Newfane's voters agreed to build a new covered bridge in Williamsville, but the town of Newfane secured $1.6 million in federal funding, through the Agency of Transportation, which would pay to restore the bridge. Construction could begin in 2008.
    Originally, voters approved $48,000 in spending for the town's match on the replacement project. At that same meeting, voters rejected a measure calling for the bridge to be replaced by a conventional bridge. Under the restoration plan, the town may not have to pay anything, however, some residents, concerned about traffic in Williamsville and South Newfane, want a modern bridge built in Williamsville.
    Responding to resident's complaints, the Selectboard held a public meeting Thursday, April 27 at the New Brook Firehouse to discuss the bridge's future.
    A chief concern is that the weight limit on the bridge is 20,000 pounds, not enough to support heavy trucks. The planned restoration would increase the weight limit to 40,000 pounds, but some residents don't think that will be enough. Trucks that are too heavy use Baker Brook Road and Parish Hill Road as a detour upsetting residents.
    Some residents would like to see the bridge restored for historical reasons. Others see it as an effective brake on traffic that speeds through the villages of South Newfane and Williamsville.
    As a solution to these concerns, the town of Newfane, the Vermont Agency of Transportation and the Historic Bridge Committee are considering plans to build a modern base for the bridge, while retaining the rest of the historic structure. This would increase the bridges weight limit to 90,000 pounds.
    Such a repair would have to be approved by the Historic Bridge Committee, which is made up of representatives from the Agency of Transportation, the Division for Historic Preservation, and the Federal Highway Authority.
    RogerWhitcomb, VTrans Project Engineer, said replacing the bridge base would be a low priority repair based on that committee's criteria. The Historic Bridge Committee is meeting May 10 could have a decision.
[This item developed from articles in the Brattleboro Reformer by Andy Rosen. Our thanks to John Esau for forwarding the articles to us. - Ed.]

Williamsville Bridge for sale

Williamsville, VT, March 2009 Various news media are reporting that this tired old bridge will be replaced with a more modern structure which will handle the heavy modern traffic. The bridge was built around 1870 over the Rock River in Williamsville. Interested parties need to meet state requirements and should be prepared to spend a sizeable wad of money on the dismantling and transportation of this old friend. It will be replaced with a replica.

Williamsville bridge Construction On Hold?
WGN VT-13-05

Newfane, VT, May 14, 2009 Because the contractor may not be able to obtain the necessary materials on time for the aggressive completion date of November, 2009, VTrans informed the Newfane Select Board.
    The request for contractors' bids are to be issued this week. Because of the potential delay, while the contract will require the completion date to be November, a clause will be added requiring winning contractor to maintain the bridge through the winter until the work is completed.
    An adjacent land owner will allow construction to on his property, so the old bridge can remain in use until the new bridge is ready.

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Joe Nelson, P.O Box 267, Jericho, VT 05465-0267
This file posted 12/08/2009