Date Visited: May 13, 2016
Location: Bridge St, Windsor, VT/ Cornish, NH
If there is one thing Vermont and New Hampshire are known for, besides moose and lakes, it has to be covered bridges. But, of the 164 covered bridges listed for Vermont and New Hampshire one stands alone.
The Windsor-Cornish Bridge (or Cornish-Windsor if you like) is the longest covered bridge in all of New England. At 449 ft and 5 inches, the Windsor-Cornish Bridge is not only the longest covered bridge in New England it is the second longest wooden covered bridge in the entire United States just behind the Smolen-Gulf Bridge in Ohio (613 ft) which opened in 2008. It is, however, the longest wooden covered bridge as well as the longest two span covered bridge in the United States.
The bridge was originally framed at a nearby meadow northwest of the site and later moved to its proper location. As an aside, I didn’t see anyone cross it on a horse. But, if they did, they had better walk it across or be ready to pay their two bits.
It has been through three constructions and repairs due to being transported from another location and after being repaired due to flood damage and ice in 1977. In July, 1987, the bridge was closed to traffic due to deterioration and reconstructed in 1989. The bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Windsor-Cornish Bridge holds another unique distinction. It is one of the few bridges that used to be a toll bridge but no longer has a toll (usually it works the other way around in new England). The bridge was purchased by the state in 1936 and operated it as a toll bridge until June 1, 1943. The bridge does have two lane traffic but pedestrians traffic is not allowed.
The Windsor-Cornish Bridge is one resilient bridge. Previously, there have been three bridges built on this site in 1796, 1824 and 1828. All of these bridges were destroyed by floods. For now, though, the bridge still stands proudly.
The videos below show what driving through the tunnel (both ways) feels like.
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