Ware-Hardwick Covered Bridge (Hardwick-Ware, MA)

Date Of Visit: December 26, 2016

Location: Bridge St (no really, it’s called Bridge St) and Old Gilbertville Rd, Ware – Hardwick, MA

Cost: Free

Hours:Open everyday, 24 hours a day

Parking: Despite the signs to the contrary, you can park on the side of the road on Bridge St.  Parking isn’t available on the other side which leads to Old Gilbertville Rd.

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Highlights: Covered Bridge in Central Mass

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Many years ago, wooden bridges, particularly covered bridges used to dot the landscapes of Massachusetts.

Now, Massachusetts only has about a dozen covered bridges that you can drive on.  Although it may not seem sturdy, the Ware-Hardwick Bridge, also known as the Granville Bridge because the bridge is in the unincorporated village of Gilbertville which is considered part of Hardwick,  is one of the few remaining traffic worthy covered bridges in Massachusetts.

The Ware-Hardwick Bridge, or Hardwick-Ware Bridge depending on which way you’re traveling, is 139.1 feet long and is 130.9 feet at its largest span. It is  19.7 feet wide and 14.4 feet tall.  I suspect trucks would have to seek alternate routes because of the low clearance.  But, according to the state Department of Transportation, there currently is no weight limit for vehicles passing through. Trucks wouldn’t typically use this bridge, in any event, since it is located on a side road.

 

The Ware-Hardwick Bridg crosses the Ware River which was relatively calm and iced over in some parts during my visit.

The bridge, which is a covered through lattice wooden single-web, double-chord truss design, was originally built in 1887 according to public records, despite the sign bearing the year 1886 just above the entrance on the Ware side.  It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 8, 1986, roughly 100 years after it was originally built.

The original bridge only had a capacity of 6 “short tons” (5.4 tons).  It was closed down in 2002 to restore the structural integrity of the bridge due in part to an insect infestation.  The bridge re-opened in October, 2010 after a $1.9 million restoration project.

Fun fact: the bridge was one of the few bridges to survive a major flooding on the Ware River in 1936.

Below is a video of us driving over the bridge.

 

 

About New England Nomad

Hi I'm Wayne. Welcome to my blog. I am a true New Englander through and through. I love everything about New England. I especially love discovering new places in New England and sharing my experiences with everyone. I tend to focus on the more unique and lesser known places and things in New England on my blog. Oh yeah, and I love dogs. I always try to include at least one dog in each of my blog posts. I discovered my love of photography a couple of years ago. I know, I got a late start. Now, I photograph anything that seems out of the ordinary, interesting, beautiful and/or unique. And I have noticed how every person, place or thing I photograph has a story behind it or him or her. I don't just photograph things or people or animals. I try to get their background, history or as much information as possible to give the subject more context and meaning. It's interesting how one simple photograph can evoke so much. I am currently using a Nikon D3200 "beginner's camera." Even though there are better cameras on the market, and I will upgrade some time, I love how it functions (usually) and it has served me well. The great thing about my blog is you don't have to be from New England, or even like New England to like my blog (although I've never met anyone who doesn't). All you have to like is to see and read about new or interesting places and things. Hopefully, you'll join me on my many adventures in New England! View all posts by New England Nomad

30 responses to “Ware-Hardwick Covered Bridge (Hardwick-Ware, MA)

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