Crews continue work to save Vermont covered bridge

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LYNDONVILLE, Vt. (AP) - Efforts to prevent the privately owned Sanborn covered bridge from falling into the Passumpic River are continuing through the winter and people working on the project say it could take five years to raise enough money to restore the bridge.

Extensive new wood supports and steel bracing has been installed during the last month, easing the threat the bridge could fall into the river, officials said.

One of the people working to save the bridge, Tim Andrews from Gilford, N.H., says the bridge had a close call during a recent thaw when ice jams hit it. He tells the Caledonian Record (http://bit.ly/1n3NMob) the ice rose two feet above the floor of the bridge’s sidewalk.

“We’re about a week away from stabilizing the bridge,” he said.

Once the bridge has been secured, it will be removed from the river and the restoration will be put on hold until enough money has been raised by the National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges.

The 120-foot span, built nearly 150 years ago, is considered one of the leading examples of a design developed by New Hampshire bridge builder Peter Paddleford. It no longer connected roads, but was popular with pedestrians in warmer months and formed part of an important snowmobile trail in the winter.

Last summer, people began seeking ways to preserve it after experts warned it could fall in to the river.

Andrews said that so far, the project has received no state or federal funding. It could take three to five years to raise enough money to finish the project, he said.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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