Bradley Covered Bridge, Lyndon Vermont
The Bradley covered bridge is the last covered wood bridge in Vermont to carry a numbered state highway; it crosses the Miller Run on Vermont Route 122 at the north edge of Lyndon Center village. The bridge has not been reinforced by any of the various devices which have been added to many other covered bridges in the state. In 1973, however, an over-height truck caused considerable structural damage to the bridge, and consequently its legal load limit has been reduced from ten to four tons.
Designed by E. H. Stone, the Bradley bridge displays marked architectural similarity to the four other covered bridges in Lyndon and a bridge in the adjoining town of Danville. Generally the bridges have open upper walls, extended eaves, projecting gable ends, and portals framed either with diagonal upper corners or arches, each complemented by similar forms under the eaves. These characteristics identify the most distinctive regional design among the covered bridges in Vermont.
About one hundred bridges still stand in the state, the greatest concentration by area of covered bridges in the country.
The Bradley covered bridge consists of a single span supported by two flanking timber queen-post trusses. The trusses incorporate iron suspension rods that extend from the upper apexes of the diagonal braces to the bottom chords. The structure rests on abutments that have been either faced or rebuilt with concrete.
The Bradley bridge is 56.5 feet long at floor level. The gable ends project 7.5 feet beyond the floor at each portal. The bridge is 17.5 feet wide and has a 15-foot roadway. The wood floor consists of planks laid flat and parallel to the trusses.
On the exterior, the heavy timbers pegged together to form the trusses (and side walls) of the bridge are partly sheathed with flush boards hung vertically. The boards rise only about one-third the height of the side walls; the upper two-thirds are open, revealing the structural members. Most of the siding and structural members of the bridge display weathered white paint.
The north gable end is sheathed with mostly unpainted flush boards hung vertically; the south gable end is currently missing, having been torn away in 1973 by an over-height truck. The north portal opening is rectangular. The medium-pitch gable roof is covered with corrugated metal sheeting. There are extraordinarily wide overhangs at the eaves to protect the exposed trusswork below.