In the spring of 2009, Building Heritage undertook the restoration of the Martin bridge of Marshfield, VT. Built c. 1880 by a barn builder named Herman Townsend, this 45 foot long queenpost truss bridge was used exclusively for the transport of hay and farm equipment from one side of the upper Winooski River to the other. It is likely to be one of the last agricultural covered bridges in Vermont, and was given to the Town of Marshfield along with approximately 70 acres in 2004.
The ends of the Martin bridge had never sat on bedding timbers, sacrificial timbers that sit between the stone abutments and the underside of the bridge that are meant to be replaced from time to time. As a result, the bridge deteriorated significantly where it rested on the stone abutments. It had sunk over a foot in one corner and had begun to lean severely. Town volunteers stabilized and moved the bridge to a nearby field in 2005. Here it rested until 2009, while the town worked to raise funds and garner community support for the restoration.
In March of 2009, Building Heritage began the restoration by labeling and documenting as much of the bridge as possible. It was then carefully disassembled and rotten timbers, sheathing, roofing, and decking were replaced or repaired. Before the end of April, the bridge was fully reassembled. With a crowd of onlookers we placed the bridge back over the Winooski River with the help of a 165 ton crane.
Click here to view the Featured Projects - Archives