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Wendy M. Levy/The Commons

Damage to the east portal of the West Dummerston Covered Bridge is seen in this recent photo.

Town and Village

Another year, another truck mishap for covered bridge

Too-tall delivery vehicle damages east portal; insurance will cover repair costs

DUMMERSTON—Drivers hoping to use the covered bridge to cross the West River may soon face delays or a detour.

In early February, a WW Building Supply delivery truck hit the ceiling on the east side of the bridge, causing more than $63,000 in damage to the structure.

“When it comes time to fixing it, there will be delays and closures,” Roads Foreman Lee Chamberlin said.

Selectboard Chair Zeke Goodband said town officials will notify school bus companies, ambulance services, fire companies, and the public in advance of the closures or detours.

Chamberlin didn’t know when work will begin, or the duration of the project, but he hopes to get that information soon from Renaud Brothers, the contractor responsible for the repairs.

Until then, it’s safe to cross the bridge, Chamberlin said, and the crossing’s weight limit hasn’t changed.

“The damage is not really structural,” Chamberlin said, and characterized the work as cosmetic. But workers will have to lift off part of the roof on the east side of the bridge to access the broken roof trusses.

“The truck hit the upper portion of the bridge with enough force that it cracked timbers and forced the east portion of the roof up,” Goodband said.

No town money will be needed to pay for the work, Chamberlin said.

A representative from WW Building Supply called Chamberlin directly to notify the town of the accident and to take responsibility for the repairs.

“Their insurance will pay for it,” he said.

Chamberlin told The Commons that the covered bridge seems to be an accident magnet.

“It gets hit a couple times each year,” he said. “It’s just a matter of how hard."

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Originally published in The Commons issue #402 (Wednesday, April 5, 2017).

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