East Shoreham Railroad Covered Bridge Gets Grant
|Rutland Railroad Bridge [WGN VT-01-
Photo by Joe Nelson, October 1996
|Rutland Railroad Bridge Howe Truss|
Photo by Joe Nelson, September, 1992
Shoreham, Vt, January 16, 2006 - 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 coming 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, is estimated to cost $420,000. The Vermont Division for Historic Preservation, the owner of the bridge, will need to raise $120,000 in matching funds.
Design will begin this year with work on the structure to begin in 2007. The proposed repairs will include replacing the deteriorated cedar shingles on the roof with green standing seam metal, work on the upper chords, deck, siding, and any truss members needing replacement. 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.
The Vermont Covered Bridge Society was asked for a letter of support for the grant seeking process. The VCBS responded:
"We of the Vermont Covered Bridge Society were pleased to hear that the Vermont Agency of Transportation and the Division for Historic Preservation are applying for a grant to support much needed repairs to the Rutland Rail Road Covered Bridge in Shoreham.
"The Shoreham bridge needs to be preserved for its historical significance. It is not only the last of its type in the State of Vermont, it is also a monument to 19th century structural engineering, and a classic example of Howe's truss supporting the needs of the then growing railroad industry.
"The mission of the Vermont Covered Bridge Society is to encourage the preservation of covered bridges by working with the towns or other entities owning or overseeing covered bridges, and cooperating with the public and with other organizations committed to the preservation of historic bridges.
"The VCBS promotes an adopt-a-bridge program in which members adopt a bridge and work with the owners clearing brush, picking up trash, sweeping, painting, keeping watch against vandalism, and notifying authorities when the bridge needs attention."
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Joe Nelson, P.O Box 267, Jericho, VT 05465-0267
This file posted January 20, 2006