Historic N.B. covered bridge damaged following collision

Historic N.B. covered bridge damaged following collision
Fri, Jan 12: The Department of Transportation is investigating after a car ran into the side of a covered bridge near Sussex County. Now, local residents fear that if repair costs are too high, the province will replace the bridge with a more modern one. Morganne Campbell reports.

A historic covered bridge near Plumweseep, N.B., is being inspected by the Department of Transportation (DTO) following a single-vehicle collision with the bridge on Friday.

Residents came from throughout Sussex County in order to examine the damage to the historic site.

Pieces of the vehicle and a bumper remained near the scene of the collision while crews inspected the bridge’s structural integrity.

“Crews are on the scene assessing damage so we can determine the repairs needed. Once that determination is made, we will be better able to estimate when it will reopen,” wrote Jeremy Trevors, a spokesperson with the DOT, in an email.

New Brunswick is known for its collection of covered bridges. The province has about 60 of them in total.

Residents of the surrounding area fear that if this bridge can’t be repaired, it may be torn down just like other bridges across the province.

“The first thing that went through my mind was, ‘It’s another covered bridge that’s going to be disappearing for New Brunswick. That was my first thought, ” said Jimmy Vandebrand.

In the early 1940s, New Brunswick had about 340 covered bridges.

“The bridge takes the blow and the government has to decide whether they’re going to spend the money to fix it or not. There’s not many of them they fix,” explained Bob Alston, a retired tourism official with Sussex County who led a crusade to promote and preserve the area’s covered bridges in early ’90s-2000s.

In 2014, a covered bridge in Cherryvale was removed from the Canaan River in after flooding and ice broke the structure free.

Covered bridges attract visitors from across the globe year after year and it’s hoped this bridge can be saved and not replaced with a more modern one because at the end of the day, people don’t necessarily come to see cement bridges.
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