Located within a state-owned campground in the Catskill Mountains and built in 1865, the Beaverkill Covered Timber Bridge is widely regarded as a symbol of Sullivan County’s rustic charm. NYSDOT, Region 9, selected Erdman Anthony to design the rehabilitation of the original one-lane timber bridge, which was deteriorating due to age, wood rot, and insect damage.
Our firm provided preliminary and final design services, prepared record plans for the existing bridge, established a Level I load rating for the structure, identified a rehabilitation alternative, and assessed environmental impacts.
This project presented numerous complexities our team needed to take into account, including the bridge’s 19th-century foundation, fast moving waters of the Beaverkill River, and requests from various stakeholders that some of the structure’s original stone and wood be salvaged.
In consideration of its historic value, the rehabilitated bridge our firm designed boasts many of its original characteristics, including a lattice truss design, fanlike radiating planks in the end panels, and some of the original wood and foundation stone. The bridge’s new guide rails were made to look rustic.
Notably, this project required building a temporary steel truss bridge inside the covered bridge. Once in place, the covered bridge was lifted off its foundation by roughly three inches so that the wooden dowels, known as “trunnels” or “treenails,” could be removed and the timbers replaced.
Our team also addressed the client’s request to unearth a stone wall on one approach to the bridge. The team dug out the stones, stored them, and reused them to re-create a retained approach embankment, as illustrated in a NYS Conservationist magazine article from July 1957.
Despite fluctuating budgets and timelines, Erdman Anthony delivered this project three months early and on budget.
2018 Platinum Award
American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of New York