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North Troy's Covered Bridge Open
[WGN 45-10-03]

Troy Bridge. Photo by Vtrans, June 2008
Troy Bridge. Photo by Vtrans, June 2008
Troy Bridge 45-10-03
Photo by Vtrans, June 2008

North Troy, Vt., June 6, 2008 - The rehabilitation of North Troy's covered bridge, begun in July, 2007, has been completed, and has passed Final Inspection, says John Weaver, Vtrans Project manager.
      The work was performed by low bidder Blow & Cote Construction of Morrisville, VT at a cost of $470,000.
      The west abutment was stabilized and under-pinned with concrete and sheeting. The superstructure has added bracing (top chords and outside) to stabilize the bridge. Camber has been restored and the frame straightened. The bottom chords have new (replacement) wooden tension splices in numerous locations, and a new wooden deck (with protective curbs) has been installed within the supporting superstructure.
      In addition, the bridge has been treated with fire retardant and insecticide, and new approach railings have been added.

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Historic Covered Bridge Committee Notes of July 13, 2005 for:

Project manager John Weaver presented an overview of the bridge, its current condition and his preliminary restoration plans to the Vtrans committee chaired by Susan Scribner.

  • Roof System - It is the intent to salvage the existing standing seam roof where possible. Sections may need to be removed and then replaced to effect necessary repairs on the bridge proper.
  • Truss System - Approximately 12 lattice sisters are proposed. Also it is proposed that larger splice plates be instal1ed along the bottom chords, four on the south truss and two on the north truss. Additional bracing is proposed for the top chord. The bridge currently has three existing exterior cross-bracing. It is proposed that two more be added to the three existing currently and that the bottom brace be increased in size from 8 x 8 to 8 x 10.
  • Floor System - No changes were proposed to the floorbeams. A new nail-lam deck of the same dimensions as the existing is proposed, and curbing to protect the trusses from traffic. Substructure - There is evidence of scour although the abutments are not showing any signs of distress.
  • General- It is proposed that fire retardant and insecticide be applied both inside and out.
- Susan Scribner, Chair, Historic Covered Bridge Committee

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School House Bridge - 1910

School House Bridge 45-10-03<br>Photo by Joe Nelson, 1997
School House Bridge 45-10-03
Photo by Joe Nelson, 1997
Also known as River Road Bridge, Troy Bridge, and Upper Bridge.

North Troy, 1997 - Barn red, the ninety-two-foot School House Bridge stands at a bend in the Missisquoi River, next to a ford and a sandbar. At low water, a viewer can walk out on the bar to within a hundred feet of the span.
      The bridge is of special interest because of the three pairs of "flying buttresses" and because of the low roof line. The height of the plank-lattice trusses on this bridge are only nine feet eight inches, one to two feet shorter than usual, leaving insufficient space for getting haywagons through if the conventional interior bracing system had been used. The external buttresses provide the required lateral bracing to resist wind forces and to keep the bridge trusses square and straight
      The trusses are of comparatively light construction. The lattice planks measure two-inches by nine-inches versus the usual three-inches by ten or eleven inches, and the web crossings are pinned by one treenail where normally two are used. Further, three sets of chords strengthen the span rather than the usual four, as the upper secondary chords are missing. The chords also consist of only one plank on each side of the webbing instead of the usual two. On the positive side, the chord planks are twice the thickness of those used in other plank lattice bridges, measuring at least six inches. Where other lattice-bridge chords use two planks on each side of the web, staggered and pinned to gain length, the chords in the School House Bridge are joined end to end using a peculiar "E" shaped splice block secured with bolts. Also on the positive side, the web spacing is on twenty-nine-inch centers instead of the customary thirty-six-inch center.
      Using just one treenail at the web intersections "may be a weakness," said an Agency of Transportation inspection report, "since some compression lattice members are buckling away from the tension members with gaps developing between the two".
      The Vermont Division of Historic Sites used a bridge build date of 1910 in the application for inclusion of the bridge on the National Register of Historic Places. The name of the builder is unknown.
      According to the research of Richard Sanders Allen, there were formerly three similar single-pin buttressed bridges in the towns of Troy and Westfield. Phil Ziegler, in his Sentinels of Time, Vermont's Covered Bridges, tells us that the School House Bridge collapsed in 1958 and was later rebuilt. The bridge also survived a fire, date unknown. The structure shows signs of the sandblasting done to remove the char. Gilbert Newbury claims that some of the fire scars can still be seen.

[From Spanning Time: Vermont's Covered Bridges, By Joseph C. Nelson]

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Joe Nelson, P.O Box 267, Jericho, VT 05465-0267
This file posted 06/09/2008
File revised 04/12/19