This covered bridge in Vermont was built in 1864

Cedar Swamp Covered Bridge, West Salisbury Vermont
Date added: August 17, 2022 Categories: Vermont Bridges Covered Bridges Town Lattice Truss
South elevation and west portal (1973)

The Cedar Swamp covered bridge is the only covered wood bridge remaining in the towns of Salisbury and Cornwall. The bridge is one of three in Vermont which straddle town boundaries along the channels of streams. (In such cases both towns share the ownership and maintenance of the bridge.) Until 1969 when a central supporting pier was built, the Cedar Swamp bridge had one of the longest wood clear spans in Vermont.

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. Many of these bridges are integral parts of unique architectural environments whose physical setting and cultural context have been little altered until recently. However, extensive highway construction programs are now drastically changing the historic environment of the state.

The Cedar Swamp covered bridge consisted originally of a single span supported by two flanking timber Town lattice trusses. In 1969 a concrete pier was built under the center of the span to reinforce it. The trusses have not been significantly altered by the addition of the pier. (The bottom chords rest on timber corbels on the top of the pier. Steel tie rods and plates enclose the chord to anchor the bridge to the pier.) The abutments are built of marble blocks, which have been covered with concrete except on the face of the east abutment. Guy cables extend to the river banks from the upper ends of the north truss to provide lateral reinforcement.

The bridge is 153.5 feet long overall. The supporting pier stands under the midpoint of the span. The bridge is 18.5 feet wide, with a 14-foot roadway. The wood floor consists of planks laid flat and perpendicular to the trusses, with strips of planks overlaid transversely for the driving surfaces.

On the exterior, the large planks pegged together diagonally to form the trusses (and side walls) of the bridge are sheathed with 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 flush vertical boards, which display extremely weathered yellow paint complemented by red trim. The portal openings are trimmed with semi-elliptical arches. The gable roof is now covered with corrugated metal sheeting.

Cedar Swamp Covered Bridge, West Salisbury Vermont South elevation and west portal (1973)
South elevation and west portal (1973)

Cedar Swamp Covered Bridge, West Salisbury Vermont West portal (1973)
West portal (1973)