Bridge building

Construction of the new Bartonsville Covered Bridge in Rockingham is moving right along, thanks to Cold River Bridges of Walpole, NH, the same company that rebuilt Chester’s two bridges along Main Street last summer.

The latticework in “Town lattice truss” style bridge, named for its developer Ithiel Town, is being built from West Coast Douglas fir, the flooring will be southern pine, the running plank will be of oak and all the “treenails” or pegs, which have been made by a peg specialist in Walpole, are of white oak.

Jim Hollar, co-owner of Cold River, said about 2,000 treenails will go into the bridge, which, once complete, will weigh around 260,000 pounds and likely be the longest of its kind in the country. He added that Phil Pierce, a noted bridge designer, is responsible for the Rockingham bridge’s new look.

Nothing could be salvaged from the original 151-footlong bridge, built in 1870 and wrenched from its moorings during the floods from Tropical Storm Irene on Aug. 28, 2011, he added.

Working 12 hours a day seven days a week, in two shifts of six to 10 workers, Cold River Bridges is eying a January 2013 opening.

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About the Author: Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor more than 40 years. Cynthia has worked at such publications as the Raleigh Times, the Baltimore News American, the Buffalo Courier Express, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Patuxent Publishing chain of community newspapers in Maryland, and has won numerous state awards for her reporting. As an editor, she has overseen her staffs to win many awards for indepth coverage. She and her family moved to Chester, Vermont in 2004.

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  1. Paul Valleli says:

    To the editor,
    Last spring, on leaving Chester from Stellafane, I tried to find the bridge and was met by a dead end at the Williams River. Last Sat. Oct. 16, I checked on it again and found a temporary metal bridge allowing access to Bartonsville AND the new bridge partially assembled as shown in the Telegraph’s article. Two huge steel girders span the river and provide support for the rest of the Covered Bridge. They rest on abutments that have been dug farther into the embankments and if it goes again, it will take part of Bartonsville with it. I wanted to congratulate Susan Hammond and Paul Hendricks for their Katrina commentary: “Oh, My Gawd!”
    Starman Paul

  2. Bob Moon says:

    Great to see photographs of a wonderful replacement bridge being built. Wonderful to see the same company doing the work.