Photo courtesy of APWA
Photo courtesy of APWA Photo courtesy of APWA

Bath’s Rehabilitation of the Village Covered Bridge Project was recently named a 2015 Public Works Project of the Year by the American Public Works Association (APWA). The managing agency, New Hampshire Department of Transportation; and primary contractor, Wright Construction Company, Inc.; as well as Hoyle, Tanner & Associates, Inc., the primary consultant; was presented with the national Project of the Year Award at the Awards Ceremony during APWA’s 2015 International Public Works Congress & Exposition Awards Ceremony in Phoenix, Arizona from August 30- September 2, 2015.The project is being was honored with APWA’s Project of the Year award in the Small Cities/Rural Communities - Historical Restoration/Preservation category. This award honors agencies representing cities and communities with a population of 75,000 or less, and was established to promote excellence in demonstrating creativity, ingenuity and efficiency in the delivery of public works projects that have a profound impact on the community.

The Bath Village Covered Bridge project includes a long multi-span structure spanning the Ammonoosuc River and Ammonoosuc Rail Trail. With an overall length of 392 feet and width of 24’6”, it stands as one of America’s monumental covered bridges, and serves as an integral part of the local transportation network by providing access from the town center and U.S. Route 302 for residents of the western side. The bridge is the most traveled and most direct river crossing for the town, and the police, ambulances and fire department vehicles use the bridge to respond to emergencies.

The purpose of the Rehabilitation of the Village Covered Bridge project was to address structural deficiencies and safety concerns of the bridge to meet current standards in the most cost-effective manner possible. To maintain the historical character and structural integrity, added arches were repaired and the end laminations were replaced with new laminations that were held together with stich bolts. The butt splice locations were retained in the arches, and the staggering of the arch laminations created a stronger structural member as the arches resist a portion of their loading through bending.