140 Year Old Sanborn Bridge

LYNDON-As Vermont is known to have up to one hundred covered bridges living in the state, the small town of Lyndon is getting ready to repair one of its own. As a matter of fact, it is one of the Northeast Kingdom's oldest bridges.

After a structural analysis of the Sanborn Covered Bridge was done back in late 2021. The preservation trust of Vermont decided to grant the town of Lyndon one hundred thousand dollars to fix the one hundred forty year old bridge that sits on the west branch of the passumpsic river.

"A lot of what we do is work with community groups that are interested in saving some kind of historic structure that they love." Preservation Trust President Ben Doyle said as he described why the town of Lyndon received The Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization grant.

A total of twenty two applications were submitted for the grant, and only six were selected. "The town of Lyndon has done an incredible job of planning out, and thinking about outdoor recreational assets that are in the community," Doyle explains.

The town of Lyndon has claimed the title for Vermont's covered bridge Capital, and members of Preservation Trust wanted to keep that alive. "We saw this bridge which is historically significant nationally as the keystone of an economic development strategy." Doyle said the Preservation just had to be a part of.

Lyndon has a total of five covered bridges throughout town, all still open to the public. This consists of the School House bridge, Bradley bridge, Randall bridge, Chamberlain Bridge, and Sanborn. Lyndon's Planning Director Nicole Gratton says the one hundred thousand dollars will help the town to achieve their goal to increase tourism, recreational development, and keeping Lyndon's history intact through this project.

The town has been trying to keep up with the bridge repairs for years, but haven't always had the funds to do so. This isn't the first time the town has attempted to work on the bridge. As it hasn't always been in the same location, it was moved to Route 5 in 1960.

Currently the bridge needs re framing and many structural repairs, its location is also another big part of why it needs work. "It's centrally located, it is a significant bridge historically. It is already a trail connector to VAST and to a walking loop from Stevens loop," Gratton explains.

Gratton also shares that the covered bridges are one of Lyndon's well known attractions. "The Chamber Of Commerce notes the number of people that come to this region as a whole looking for things to do. The number one pamphlet they pick up is about the covered bridges. So if we have a beautiful space at Sanborn bridge I can only expect that people will not only just engage with the bridge itself, but they will travel to the other bridge sites."

In order for the town to accomplish the goal Lyndon will need to secure 1.5 million for the whole project. After the bridge is fixed, the town will be planning to make the grounds below the bridge into a riverfront park space.