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Whittier Covered Bridge Rrehabilitation

The Town of Ossipee, New Hampshire has received a National Historic Covered Bridge Preservation Grant and a Land and Community Heritage Investment Program Grant for the rehabilitation of the Whittier Covered Bridge, (World Guide No. 29-02-08), which crosses the Bearcamp River. The 132 ft. bridge was originally built in the 1870s and used a unique timber truss construction. Due to the condition of the bridge, it has been closed to vehicular traffic since 1989.

Whittier Covered Bridge
Whittier Covered Bridge
Ossipee, New Hampshire

DuBois & King consulting engineers of Laconia, New Hampshire and Stan Graton/3G Construction of Holderness, New Hampshire were selected by the Town as the design-build team to rehabilitate the bridge. In 2008, the bridge was moved off its abutments and supported on blocks, shored and stabilized. The rehabilitation work for the timber superstructure is being conducted while the bridge is off its abutments, which will allow restoration of the stone and concrete abutments at a later date. Bridge rehabilitation construction began in early September of this year and is scheduled to be completed in March of 2015.

Stan Graton of 3G Construction has family history with the bridge. “We are very pleased to have been selected for this project,” says Stan Graton, President of 3G. “My grandfather Milton Graton repaired this bridge in 1983. I look forward to continuing the family tradition with this bridge.”

“This is a challenging rehabilitation,” says Robert H. Durfee, PE, Project Manager and Vice President of DuBois & King. “The bridge is a Paddleford Truss, which has a unique framing style, only occurring in a few northern New England Covered Bridges. We believe this bridge is the longest single-span Paddleford Truss in existence. Rehabilitation to support higher (6-ton) truck loads, wind and snow loads can be complex on a Paddleford Truss, while at the same time being historically sensitive,” said Durfee.

“This has been a long process, and the first to employ the design-build approach in New Hampshire to rehabilitate an existing covered bridge,” says Brad Harriman, Public Works Director for the Town of Ossipee. “We are very anxious to complete the rehabilitation of the bridge and move it back onto the abutments,” said Harriman.

[Our thanks to Sutton Sawyer for providing this news release - Ed]

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Joe Nelson, P.O Box 267, Jericho, VT 05465-0267 This file posted 09/14/2014