Moxley Covered Bridge, Chelsea Vermont

Date added: June 20, 2024 Categories:
West elevation (1973)

The Moxley Covered Bridge is the only covered wood bridge to survive in the town of Chelsea. It and five other covered bridges in the adjoining town of Tunbridge cross the First Branch of the White River within a distance of about seven miles, comprising one of the most concentrated groups of covered bridges in Vermont. These bridges have not been altered seriously, and their historic environment of an extraordinarily scenic agricultural valley remains essentially undisturbed.

The covered bridges of Vermont are among its most cherished and symbolic historic resources. About one hundred bridges still stand in the state, the greatest concentration by area of covered bridges in the country.

Bridge Description

The Moxley Covered Bridge consists of a single span supported by two flanking timber queenpost trusses. The trusses incorporate iron suspension rods which extend from upper apexes of the diagonal braces to the bottom chords. The trusses are skewed so that the bridge has the form of a parallelogram in plan; the corresponding members of each truss are diagonally opposite one another. A laminated plank stringer has been tie-bolted to the central underside of the floor beams parallel to the trusses for reinforcement.

The bridge rests on abutments built of irregular stone laid dry. The west corner of the north abutment has been faced with concrete. The short south abutment stands on a prominent outcrop of bedrock.

The Moxley bridge is 57 feet long at floor level. The ends of the side walls flare outward to meet the gable ends, which overhang the floor 2.5 feet at each portal. The bridge is 17 feet wide and has a 15-foot roadway. The wood floor, which consists of planks laid flat and parallel to the trusses, is 54 feet long; the approaches are laid with short planks to meet the gravel road surface.

On the exterior, the heavy timbers pegged together to form the trusses (and side walls) of the bridge are sheathed with unpainted flush boards hung vertically. Similar siding protects the ends of the trusses immediately inside the portals. There are no windows or openings in the side walls.

The gable ends are also sheathed with unpainted flush boards hung vertically. The portal openings are framed with semi-elliptical arches. The medium-pitch gable roof is covered on the east slope with corrugated metal sheeting and on the west slope with standing seam corrugated metal sheeting.

Moxley Covered Bridge, Chelsea Vermont North portal (1973)
North portal (1973)

Moxley Covered Bridge, Chelsea Vermont West elevation (1973)
West elevation (1973)