A New Life for the Martin Bridge in Marshfield
October 20, 2009
The 44-foot long Martin Bridge, among the last of Vermont’s agricultural covered bridges, straddles the Winooski River in Marshfield. Built in 1890, the bridge is believed to be the only one in Vermont that never had an actual road cross through it.
Martin Bridge was built with farming in mind, and its purpose was to connect two fields divided by the 90-mile long Winooski River. The bridge is narrower and has fewer supports than a typical covered bridge. It’s also taller to accommodate hay wagons and includes a cattle gate for livestock.
The bridge underwent an extensive renovation this year after falling into disrepair. I read in the local newspaper that the bridge at one point was tilted 18 inches to one side, and residents feared it would collapse into the river. The community rallied and received grants to refurbish the local landmark last spring. Surrounding the updated bridge is a new town park, which includes hiking and biking trails.