The Portal of a 2nd Covered Bridge can be seen when looking through this Bridge


Northfield Falls Covered Bridge, Northfield Vermont
Date added: June 21, 2024 Categories:
East portal - Lower Cox Brook Covered Bridge visible in the background (1973)

The Northfield Falls Covered Bridge is one of five covered wood bridges remaining on public highways in the town of Northfield, the second highest concentration by town of such bridges in Vermont. Three of those bridges, including the Northfield Falls, stand within one-quarter mile of one another along the same road, which leads west from the village of Northfield Falls. This is the only place in Vermont where one covered bridge (the Lower Cox Brook Bridge) is visible through the portal of another (the Northfield Falls Bridge).

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

Bridge Description

The Northfield Falls Covered Bridge consisted originally of a single span supported by two flanking timber Town lattice trusses. A central pier has been constructed under the span to reinforce it. At the same time, the wood deck structure was removed and replaced with four longitudinal steel beams. The timber trusses now carry only the superstructure of the bridge. Iron tie rods extend between the top chords immediately beneath the top beams to provide lateral bracing. Guy cables reach to the river banks from the upper southeast and southwest corners of the bridge to give additional lateral reinforcement.

The structure rests on abutments built originally of stone blocks laid dry in regular courses. The west abutment has been capped with concrete, and the east abutment has been either faced or rebuilt with concrete. The central pier is built of reinforced concrete.

The Northfield Falls bridge is 137 feet long, now divided into two spans of equal length (68.5 feet). The bridge is 19.5 feet wide and has a 16-foot roadway. The wood floor, which begins four feet inside each portal, was relaid directly on the steel deck beams; it consists of planks placed on edge perpendicular to the trusses.

On the exterior, the heavy planks pegged together diagonally to form the trusses (and side walls) of the bridge are sheathed with flush boards hung vertically and painted red. Similar siding painted white protects the ends of the trusses immediately inside the portals. There are four large rectangular windows in each side wall, and the siding stops short of the eaves to leave a strip opening along the top of each wall.

The gable ends are also sheathed with flush boards hung vertically and painted red. The portal openings are rectangular. The medium-pitch gable roof is covered with corrugated metal sheeting.

Northfield Falls Covered Bridge, Northfield Vermont East portal - Lower Cox Brook Covered Bridge visible in the background (1973)
East portal - Lower Cox Brook Covered Bridge visible in the background (1973)

Northfield Falls Covered Bridge, Northfield Vermont South elevation and west portal (1973)
South elevation and west portal (1973)