Covered Bridge Update

UPDATE December 8: Materials are in, 6 person team commencing work to finish the bridge.

UPDATE November 28: Waiting on some pressure-treated materials for the floor of the bridge.  Due to this, the December 3rd completion date may slip a bit.

UPDATE October 18: Next piece shows up today…


Excerpt from Hartford Courant article posted on October 13, 2011:

“For the past decade, I thought the bridge was hanging out with Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. But in the middle of the afternoon on Tuesday, an 18-wheeler from Ehco Bridge Inc. of Elmira, N.Y., rumbled down Route 6 and brought in the first section of the bridge to a staging area off Route 316.

Two more sections will follow next week and then work will begin to connect them. A crane will be brought in to lower the 25-foot-high bridge onto the old Hartford, Providence & Fishkill Railroad abutments and hikers, bikers and walkers will be able to safely cross over the roadway and continue their journey to Willimantic, or Manchester and Vernon.

After writing about the subject a half-dozen times over the years, no longer would I be the columnist who cried wolf. I can now be like Paul Revere, get on a horse and ride through town announcing, “The covered bridge is here! The covered bridge is here!” I can scrap my plans for “Occupy Andover,” where I pitch a tent and protest. The bridge is on its way.

There had been rumors — again — swirling for the past month that October would be when the bridge would arrive. William D. O’Neill, a member of the Connecticut Greenways Council, gave me a heads up in September that the annual Connecticut Greenways Council awards would be held Oct. 21 in Andover at the bridge site. And it would be pretty embarassing for all if there was no bridge there.

“This will sound like a recording,” he wrote in a September e-mail. “The covered bridge will be installed in Andover before the end of this October. From the lips of the owner of the bridge fabrication to my cell phone. Never doubted.”

The lack of a bridge had been a glaring – and dangerous – gap in the 20-mile trail. It had also become one of the more embarrassing gaps in the 3,000-mile East Coast Greenway. Funding was approved in 2001 and over the years, the project was tied up with design changes, red tape and lawsuits as well as a number of changes in leadership of the town. And kudos to First Selectman Robert Burbank for being the man to get the job done, as the goal has always been to get the covered bridge into town and installed.

When the bridge is completed, trail users will no longer have to travel down an embankment along a rocky side trail, climb over a pair of guardrails, cross Route 316 near Route 6 – both busy, hazardous roads – and then clamber up another embankment to return to the trail. They can now cross over peacefully and enjoy the pastoral view.”

Read the Full Article

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