V.A.O.T. Historic Bridge Committee
Historic Covered Bridge Committee Notes of June 23, 2005 for:|
CREAMERY COVERED BRIDGE (#30) IN
Present at Meeting: Committee members JB McCarthy, Warren Tripp, Eric
Gilbertson, Nancy Boone, Bob McCullough, Pam Thurber, Scott Newman and Sue Scribner.
Also in attendance were Mr. Stephen Barrett, Public Works Director with the Town of
Brattleboro, Joe Nelson representing the Vermont Covered Bridge Society, Michael Canavan
from The Federal Highway Administration and VTrans project manager John Weaver.
Project manager John Weaver provided an overview of the bridge and its current condition
using photos to assist in his presentation. Preliminary plans have been developed and were
- Roof System - It is the intent to salvage the existing slate roof. It is in very good
shape overall. The town, using the services of Neil Daniels, added new interior bracing for extra
support. It is proposed that a new standing seam roof be added to the walkway portion only.
- Truss System - - The bottom lower chord is a "conglomerate of bits and pieces"
bolted together, likely in the 1980's. Some of the sections are quite short. Some sistering will be
necessary and it is proposed that trunnels be used for connections so that the sisters are installed
in a traditional manner. It is proposed that a new bottom chord be installed of glulam
- it would be very close to the existing dimensions - with new blocking at x-brace connections.
Extra support is proposed for the attached walkway.
- Floor System - - No changes to the floorbeams The deck and running boards are
currently very worn down. A new nail lam deck is proposed with runner. Curbing is shown on
the plans to channelize traffic. The town questioned whether the runner planks should be full
width as proposed or as existing to hopefully slow down traffic.
- Substructure - - Abutments are in good shape.
- General - - It is proposed that fire retardant and insecticide be applied both inside
- General Discussion - The amount of sistering is unknown at this time. John is
estimating 5 lattices but could be more. The committee in general would like to see this
minimized. In order to get adequate connections, if a new glu-lam bottom chord is not installed,
John Weaver expects that more sistering would be required. A point of consideration is that if
more sistering occurs, it will add a significant amount of dead load which is already a factor due
to the weight of the existing slate roof. It was asked if there is a system laid out for determining if
sistering will be required for individual members. The expectation is that the project manager, the
VTrans Historic Preservation Officer, a representative from FHWA and the resident engineer, at a
minimum, will inspect the lattices once the bottom chord is removed and mutually decide which
will need sistering. It was suggested that cautionary notes be added to the project plans advising
that sistering will be minimized and how the determination will be made. It was asked if Douglas
Fir could be used full length in place of the proposed glu-lam for the lower bottom chord. John
Weaver noted it is hard to dimension properly at that length (the bridge is almost 85' long) and
there are problems with warping. It is not recommended. It was noted that installation of the
glu-lam chord could be reversible if other material options present themselves in the future and is
beneficial as less sistering will likely be required. Finally, it was noted in general how unique this
structure is due to its visible urban setting.
A motion was made to move forward with the details shown in the plans as provided by John
Weaver with cautionary notes as discussed and that it be required that the VTrans Historic
Preservation Officer be at the field meeting to confirm which lattice members need sistering. The
motion was seconded and unanimously passed.
Chair, Historic Covered Bridge Committee