The Batten Kill Covered Bridges

Last Updated: 9/2018
All images taken by Massachusetts Paddler
Information gathered from multiple sources including:
New York State Covered Bridges
Manchester Vermont - Explore Covered Bridges
Wikipedia
West Arlington Bridge (Mile 33.6)

Built By: Ephraim Clapp
Date: 1852
Position:  43-06.26 N 73-13.22 W
Altitude: 550 feet
National Register of Historic Places: 1973
Description:
      It is a single span structure, with a length of 80 feet, a total width of 17.5 feet, and a roadway width of 14 feet (one lane). It rests on mortared stone abutments, of which the northern one has since been faced in concrete. Guying cables are fastened near each of its corners. The sides are finished in vertical board siding, and the roof is metal. There are five small square openings in each of the sides.
      The bridge was built in 1852, and is one of Vermont's oldest surviving covered bridges. It is also unusual in that it has not had any 20th-century strengthening elements added, a common feature to many of the state's older bridges. On August 28, 2011, the Arlington Green Covered Bridge was damaged by flooding caused by Hurricane Irene. It was fixed in the following months and reopened to traffic.
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Nearest Launch Address:
{cke_protected}{C}%3C!%2D%2DStartFragment%2D%2D%3ECovered Bridge Road, Arlington, VT 05250
Eagleville Bridge (Mile 26.7)

Built By: Ephraim Clapp
Date: 1858
Position: 43-04.99 N 73-18.83 W
Altitude: 484 feet
National Register of Historic Places: March 8, 1978
Description:
The Eagleville Bridge employs "the patented Town lattice truss, consisting of top and bottom chords of laminated wood plank, and a web of diagonal wood planks connected by wood trunnels at each point of intersection". (Town and Howe truss designs were patented by Ithiel Town in 1820 and William Howe (architect) in 1840.)
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Nearest Launch Address:
{cke_protected}{C}%3C!%2D%2DStartFragment%2D%2D%3E173 Eagleville Road, Shushan, NY 12873
Rexleigh Bridge (Mile 19.45)

Built By: Reubin Comins and George Wadsworth 
Date: 1874
Position:  43-08.09 N 73-21.34 W
Altitude: 444 feet
National Register of Historic Places: March 8, 1978
Description:
     The Rexleigh Bridge employs "the patented Howe truss, with paired diagonal timbers, single timber counters, and multiple vertical iron rods defining each truss panel. The diagonals and verticals are connected to the upper and lower chords by means of cast-iron bearing blocks."  Those bearing blocks are "embossed with the name of their manufacturer, 'R. Comins, Troy, N.Y.,'" and, although the timber used is local, the bridge "appears to be a rare surviving example of this type of prefabricated nineteenth-century bridge construction." A single span of 107 feet.
      It appears that the bridge was prefabricated in Troy, dismantled, and transported by rail to Rexleigh where it was reassembled, possibly by local carpenter George Wadsworth. Particularly unique are the cast iron “shoes” which were used to fit timbers into joints with iron rods. This feature, patented by R. Comins, a Troy, New York man, has been incorporated into no other known American Covered Bridge but the Rexleigh.
      Another unusual feature of this bridge was its slate roof. It isn’t known if it was originally built with a slate roof, but in 1984 it was wisely replaced with lightweight wood shingles.
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Nearest Launch Address:
{cke_protected}{C}%3C!%2D%2DStartFragment%2D%2D%3E186 Rexleigh Road, Salem, NY 12865
Shushan Bridge (Mile 23.0)

Built By: Milton and James Stevens
Date: 1858
Position: 43-05.48 N 73-20.71 W
Altitude: 438 feet
National Register of Historic Places: March 8, 1978
Description:
      The Shushan Bridge employs "the patented Town lattice truss, consisting of top and bottom chords of laminated wood plank, and a web of diagonal wood planks connected by wood trunnels at each point of intersection".
      Built by brothers, Milton and James Stevens, during the spring and summer of 1858 (the same year as the Eagleville Covered Bridge), this 161-foot-long, two span structure incorporates the Town lattice truss design. The bridge trusses were laid out and assembled on the village green beside the railroad depot, then drawn by oxen to the bridge site where they were erected over the river on a system of false work. When originally built, the bridge was supported near the middle by a large pier made of dry-laid stone. The pier, twenty feet square, rose from the still water of a mill pond formed by a dam a short distance downstream. When the dam washed out in the flood of 1927 the pier became an obstruction in the now fast-flowing stream. It was replaced by a narrower pier in 1938.
      The Shushan Covered Bridge has 46 panels, each 3½ feet on centers. All truss timbers are white pine, spruce orhemlock fastened at the joints by treenails (pronounced “tunnels”) of either red oak or locust. The total weight of the bridge, including roof and siding, is estimated at 80 tons. 
        In 1962, a new steel bridge was built and the Shushan Covered Bridge was bypassed. It stood for over a decade as the longest single span covered bridge on the Batten Kill.
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Nearest Launch Address:
{cke_protected}{C}%3C!%2D%2DStartFragment%2D%2D%3E1022 County Road 61, Shushan, NY 12873