Lower Cox Brook Covered Bridge, Northfield Falls Vermont

Date added: June 13, 2024 Categories:
South elevation and west portal (1973)

The Lower Cox Brook 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 Lower Cox Brook Bridge, 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 Northfield Falls Bridge) is visible from another (the Lower Cox Brook 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 Lower Cox Brook Covered Bridge consists of a single span supported originally by two flanking timber queenpost trusses. The timber deck structure has been replaced by four longitudinal steel beams, with floor planks laid on edge directly on the steel beams and transverse to them. The timber trusses now carry only the superstructure of the bridge.

The Lower Cox Brook Bridge is 56.5 feet long and 18.5 feet wide, and has a 15.5-foot roadway. The structure rests on abutments which have been either faced or rebuilt with concrete.

On the exterior, the heavy timbers pegged together to form the trusses (and side walls) of the bridge are sheathed with flush boards hung vertically and painted red. Similar siding protects the ends of the trusses immediately inside the portals. The siding stops short of the eaves to leave strip openings along the tops of the walls. Near the center of the south wall, therg is a large rectangular window with a hood formed by projecting siding.

The west gable end is sheathed with boards-and-battens hung vertically; the boards are painted red and the battens white. The east gable end is sheathed similarly except for the lack of battens above the portal opening. The gable siding extends to the eaves and is undercut in the form of a reversed ogee. The portal openings are rectangular with diagonal upper corners. The medium-pitch gable roof is covered with corrugated metal sheeting.

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