Lyndon considers covered bridge protector following latest crash

Published: Dec. 21, 2021 at 6:19 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LYNDON, Vt. (WCAX) - A covered bridge in Lyndon was damaged again this week by an oversized box truck. Now, after numerous crashes over the past several years, local officials say they are taking action.

“It makes my heart sink, you know? I love that bridge,” said Boyd Bean, a lifetime resident of Lyndonville. “I’ve probably been over that bridge an average of once every day in my life.”

Surveillance video from Monday morning captures the driver of a truck damaging the Miller’s Run bridge.

“I’ve seen it been hit five times that I know if, if not more,” said Donald Aldallen, who has lived next door to the bridge for eight years. He says he’s sick of Vermont’s history being damaged before his eyes. “People gotta slow down and see the signs -- there are signs on both ends.”

“Even though your GPS says go this way, you should use common sense and know you can’t fit a big box truck through that tiny little wooden bridge,” said Merrill Blair of Sutton.

Lyndon Municipal Administrator Justin Smith agrees that GPS is the problem. “Especially the car model of GPS doesn’t discuss heights and things of the nature,” he said. Smith says a particularly messy crash last year prompted the town to put flashing signs up to serve as a warning to truck drivers but it’s not enough. “Our hope is that we have a design that won’t detract from what people see when they go to the bridge to look at it.”

The town is in the process of designing a steel I-beam structure on both sides of the bridge that would stop trucks in their tracks before trying to fit underneath. The town selectboard also voted Monday to increase the fines for hitting the bridge. The fine for a first offense will increase from $2,000 to $5,000.

“It’s just going to keep costing our town money if people don’t realize that, ‘Maybe I shouldn’t do this, maybe I shouldn’t ty this,’” Blair said.

Lyndon spends thousands of dollars on repairs every time the bridge gets struck. Monday’s price tag is expected to cost around $2,000.

“There are not many of these old bridges left either, and these are history,” Aldallen said.

For now, area residents hope drivers truckers will take heed and find alternate routes to preserve that history. “I hope it stays there forever,” Bean said.

Related Stories:

Lyndon covered bridge damaged again

Police still searching for driver who damaged Vt. covered bridge

Another truck damages Lyndon covered bridge; police seek driver

Historic Lyndon covered bridge damaged by another truck

4-year-old makes sign to protect covered bridge from damage

Vermont covered bridge open after repairs to truck damage

Lyndon signs contract to fix covered bridge hit by truck

Copyright 2021 WCAX. All rights reserved.