Poland Covered Bridge (Cambridge Junction)

Description

The Poland Covered Bridge is a historic covered bridge in Cambridge, Vermont. The bridge, also known as the Junction Covered Bridge or the Cambridge Junction Covered Bridge, carries Cambridge Junction Road across the Lamoille River off State Route 15. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.

George W. Holmes designed and built the bridge in 1887. The Poland Covered Bridge is made up of a single bridge supported by two Burr arch trusses on either side. Each truss has an arch made up of two parallel arcs of single-timbers, one on each side of the vertical posts and diagonal bracing, bolted together through the posts. For reinforcement, several iron suspension rods were linked to the top and bottom chords. For added stability, a central laminated stringer has been tie-bolted to the underside of the deck beams. The bridge structure is supported by uneven stone abutments that have been mortared together and covered with concrete.

At ground level, the Poland Bridge is 152.5 feet long and has a clear span of 138.5 feet. The bridge has a 15.5-foot roadway and is 19.5 feet wide. Planks are set on edge and parallel to the trusses to create the wood floor. The center has been paved to accommodate automotive traffic.

On the exterior, the timbers pegged and bolted together to form the trusses (and sidewalls) of the bridge are sheathed with unpainted flush boards hung vertically. The siding stops short of the eaves to provide strip openings along the tops of the walls. There are five rectangular windows spaced irregularly along the west wall. The east wall has one window near each end.

The bridge developed a lean over time, but in 1995, a car collided with one of the king posts, straightening the lean but causing the support system to fail. Alpine Construction began reconstruction on the bridge in 2003, and it reopened on July 4, 2004. The National Historic Bridge Program contributed $1 million to the renovation, which helped to preserve the bridge. To prevent vehicles from impacting the sides again, the bridge now has short “tire rails” on each side of the traveled lane.

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Covered Bridge Specs

  • Constructed: 1887
  • Design/Style: Burr arch
  • Total length: 153 feet
  • Total width: 16 feet
  • Carries: Cambridge Junction Rd
  • Crosses: Lamoille River
  • Usage: Open to vehicles
  • World Guide Number: 45-08-02
  • NRHP: 74000230

Location

  • Address: Cambridge Junction Rd
  • Town: Cambridge
  • State: Vermont
  • GPS: Lat 44.65105 Lng -72.81459
  • Parking notes: There are many free parking spots at the Cambridge Junction Rail Trail Park lot located next to the covered bridge.
  • Parking directions: HERE
  • Location directions: HERE

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