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Warren Covered Bridge
Photograph courtesy of the Mad River Valley Planning District

  Warren Covered Bridge
Photograph by Thomas Visser

The covered bridges of Vermont are among its most cherished and symbolic historic resources. The Warren Covered Bridge is the only bridge to remain in the town of Warren. Combined with other surviving bridges in the area, the Warren bridge reflects the widespread construction of covered bridges on Vermont's public highways from around 1820 to 1904, one of the highlights in Vermont's transportation history. Covered bridges were roofed and enclosed to protect the wooden structural elements from the weather, which in Vermont can be quite harsh. Little more than 100 covered bridges remain in the State, the result of expanding highway systems, intensive commercial development, and physical neglect. Still, Vermont has the greatest concentration of covered bridges in the country, and in the recent past has become dedicated to their preservation. Vermont law now protects all covered bridges and none can be torn down without the permission of the Governor and the Board of Historic Sites.

The Warren Bridge is a short and simple structure. Built by Walter Bagley from 1879-80, it features a single span supported by queenpost trusses. To date, it has not required reinforcement devices, as have many other bridges. Unique features of this structure are the differing portal openings at either end of the bridge, the result of an overhanging gable roof on the west side of the bridge. The bridge will remain unaltered in the future unless, according to the stipulation of a town ordinance, two-thirds of the legal voters approve any proposed change. The Warren Covered Bridge is today an important symbol of the town.

The Warren Covered Bridge, still open to vehicular and pedestrian traffic, is located on Town Hwy. 4 as that road crosses the Mad River, just east of the intersection of Town Hwy. 4 and Rt. 100. Be cautious of automobiles if you cross the bridge by foot.


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