For the past several months, our designers and craftsmen have been working on the reconstruction of the Old Blenheim Bridge. The original bridge had been built in 1855 and was destroyed in 2011 by flooding of the Schoharie Creek caused by Tropical Storm Irene. Until that event, it had been the world’s longest free span covered bridge. Upon its completion, it will reclaim the title with a free span of 210 feet, a total length of 232 feet, a width of 26th feet, and a height of 30 feet. Lancaster County Timber Frames, Inc. was selected to execute the working drawings of the bridge reconstruction and to hand carve all the timbers and component parts.
In the hope that this new bridge survives future rising waters, the bearing height of the bridge will be elevated by 11 feet. Lancaster County Timber Frames will be carving the bridge timbers in its York, Pennsylvania shop and delivering them to the banks of the Schoharie Creek starting in July 2017. 3G Construction of New Hampshire will then assemble the bridge on the banks and move it – whole – into position over the creek. Economy Paving Company, Inc. of New York is acting as general contractor as well as handling the road and abutment work.
The CAD model of the bridge shown above is color coded to assist in the identification of the different timber member types. This is Lancaster County Timber Frames’ seventh covered bridge repair or reconstruction project, with others in the offing.