Bull’s Lattice

"Bull’s Lattice" (Bull's Bridge, Kent, Connecticut)

“Bull’s Lattice”
Bull’s Bridge, Kent, Connecticut
© 2016 J. G. Coleman

The timber-framed covered bridges which have become such beloved emblems of historical New England are few and far between in Connecticut these days. Only three such bridges remain of the several dozen that once spanned rivers and streams from one corner of the state to the other during the 1800s.

Of course, from a practical standpoint, everyone benefited from the phasing out of timber bridges. Compared to the iron and reinforced concrete designs that followed, timber bridges tended to be rather short-lived. If they weren’t being washed away in floods or burning down, they were lucky to last two decades before wear and rot compelled a full rebuild.

But over the course of their roughly 75-year reign during the 19th century, the timber-truss covered bridge represented the zenith in bridge technology. And for what it’s worth, there was something inherently beautiful about those old timber trusses that has simply been lost to the austere I-beams and textured concrete of today’s crossings.

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