Thank you for your interest in and support of the Valley News. So far, we have raised 80% of the funds required to host journalists Claire Potter and Alex Driehaus for their one-year placements in the Upper Valley through Report for America, a national service program that boosts local news by harnessing community support.

Please consider donating to this effort.

Lincoln Covered Bridge in Woodstock damaged

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 9/27/2021 9:09:55 PM
Modified: 9/27/2021 9:09:56 PM

WEST WOODSTOCK — A truck towing heavy equipment on a flatbed damaged the Lincoln Covered Bridge in West Woodstock Sunday afternoon.

The bridge was temporarily closed before Vermont Department of Transportation engineers inspected it and deemed it safe for traffic, said Woodstock Police Chief Robbie Blish.

Part of the tractor “hit as he entered the bridge. The backhoe struck a couple of beams and stopped,” Blish said. The height limit for the Lincoln Covered Bridge is 10 feet.

He believed the beams damaged were on the Fletcher Hill Road side of the span. The bridge connects that road to Route 4 and is a popular place for tourists.

“It was just within the last year or two another truck pulling a tractor with a backhoe took out every single beam on that bridge,” Blish said, referring to a 2019 collision that required officials to close the bridge and that cost around $1 million to repair.

Blish said there is not yet an estimate for how much it will cost to fix the beams, but he expects it will be in the thousands.

“The town will contract with someone to do the repairs, but it will be paid for by the insurance company of the operator, or the operator if he doesn’t have insurance,” he said.

Sunday’s incident marked at least the second one on a Woodstock covered bridge this year, Blish said. The Taftsville Covered Bridge was damaged earlier this year by a motorist driving a truck pulling a trailer that exceeded the height limit.

“That was cosmetic,” Blish said. “Nothing structural on that.”

Each bridge has a posted height limit and Blish stressed the need for drivers to be aware of the size of their vehicles — along with what they’re towing.

“It seems to be an ongoing issue because we’ve had several different bridges stuck in the last few years,” Blish said. “It really boils down to the responsibility of the operators to know whether or not what they are pulling ... is going to be too high. If they’re not sure, they should go around.”

Liz Sauchelli can be reached at or 603-727-3221.

Valley News

24 Interchange Drive
West Lebanon, NH 03784


© 2021 Valley News
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy