The Bissell Covered Bridge is a historic covered bridge located on Heath Road in Charlemont, Massachusetts. The bridge is 92 feet long and carries traffic over Mill Brook.
The Long through truss bridge was first built in 1880 when the town appropriated $1000 for its construction. By the mid 20th century the bridge was falling apart, and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (DOT) closed it down. The town vehemently opposed the construction of a modern steel-and-concrete structure as its substitute. The argument over the bridge received a lot of media attention. The decision-making process resulted in a design that was nearly identical to the original bridge.
The second Bissell Covered bridge was completed in 1951 and cost about $50,000 which was paid for by all levels of government. It was the first covered bridge to be built in Massachusetts in the 20th century. The only major deviations from the original design were made to accommodate modern roadway requirements. By the end of the 20th century, the new bridge was also deteriorating. It was closed and was extensively rehabilitated. In 2004, the bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
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Covered Bridge Specs
- Constructed: First bridge was built in 1880. Second in 1951 (extensively rehabilitated in 2009)
- Design/Style: Long through truss bridge
- Total length: 95 feet
- Carries: Heath Rd
- Crosses: Mill Brook
- Usage: Open to vehicles
- World Guide Number: 21-06-04 #3
- NRHP: 4000083