Poland Covered Bridge

“The Poland Covered Bridge, also known as the Junction Covered Bridge[2] or the Cambridge Junction Covered Bridge[n 1] is a covered bridge that carries Cambridge Junction Road across the Lamoille River off State Route 15 in Cambridge, Vermont. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.[1] The bridge is of Burr arch design, built by George W. Holmes in 1887.
The bridge was named for a local official, Judge Poland, and was a controversial issue in 1888:
Poland did not live to use the bridge, dying in his hayfield the following July.
The Poland Covered Bridge is located a short way east of the village of Jeffersonville, and is oriented roughly north-south across the west-flowing Lamoille River, on Cambridge Junction Road, which connects Vermont Route 15 on the south side of the river with Vermont Route 109 on the north side. The bridge is 152.5 feet (46.5 m) long and 19.5 feet (5.9 m) wide, with a roadway width of 15.5 feet (4.7 m) (one lane). It is supported by flanking Burr trusses, which include laminated arches embedded in the truss structure. The deck is further supported by a laminated beam that has been bolted to its underside. The bridge rests on stone abutments that have been capped in concrete. The exterior is clad in vertical board siding, which extend around to the insides of the portals. On the sides, the siding ends short of the roof, following the curve of the truss arches at the center.[4]
Recent History:
Deterioration over time introduced a lean to the bridge, but in 1995 a vehicle struck one of the king posts which straightened out the lean, but caused the support system to start failing. Reconstruction on the bridge began in 2003 by Alpine Construction and it was reopened on July 4, 2004.[5][6] The project was supported by the National Historic Bridge Program which provided $1 million to preserving the bridge [7] The bridge now has short “tire rails” on each side of the traveled lane to prevent vehicles from striking the sides again. At last visit,[when?] it appears they are working, as they show evidence of having been struck.”-https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poland_Covered_Bridge


“…The Story of the Poland Covered Bridge

In the 1800’s, Cambridge Junction was a significant railroad junction where the Vermont division of the Portland and Ogdensburg met the Burlington and Lamoille Railroad. Those living in Waterville and Belvedere wanted a shorter route to the trains. A bridge would accomplish this, but Cambridge viewed such a bridge unnecessary for two reasons- it would have no particular use for its residents and it would add to the taxes.

Luke P. Poland of Waterville, a lawyer who had been Chief Justice of the Vermont Supreme Court, a Representative and a Senator in Washington D.C. made such bridge a project in his retirement years. He led a lawsuit judgment ordering a bridge and a connecting road be built by the Town of Cambridge. Cambridge dragged its feet, but on June 8, 1887 the town voted to instruct the Selectmen,

Charles Holmes, Jason French, and Roscoe Fuller, to construct the bridge at a cost of $6,000-10,000. George W. Holmes began the construction in September 1887 and it was named the Poland Bridge.

Not everyone was pleased with the new bridge, as noted in a newspaper article on June 15, 1887: “Judge Poland has caused the Town of Cambridge to be inflicted with a bridge and a road at an expense of $6-10,000 which as shown will be of no material benefit to anyone but himself. It will be known as the ‘Poland Bridge’ except to the taxpayers of Cambridge who will christen it ‘the Bridge of Sighs.’


Poland did not live to use the bridge, dying in his hayfield the following July…”- https://www.hmdb.org/m.asp?m=207876

Burr Arch Truss:

“The Burr Arch Truss—or, simply, Burr Truss or Burr Arch—is a combination of an arch and a multiple kingpost truss design. It was invented in 1804 by Theodore Burr,[1] patented on April 3, 1817,[2] and used in bridges, usually covered bridges.[3][4]

The design principle behind the Burr arch truss is that the arch should be capable of bearing the entire load on the bridge while the truss keeps the bridge rigid. Even though the kingpost truss alone is capable of bearing a load, this was done because it is impossible to evenly balance a dynamic load crossing the bridge between the two parts.[5] The opposite view is also held, based on computer models, that the truss performs the majority of the load bearing and the arch provides the stability.[1] Either way, the combination of the arch and the truss provides a more stable bridge capable of supporting greater weight than either the arch or truss alone.”-https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burr_Truss

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