The Dummerston Covered Bridge was damaged by a truck driver over the weekend. (Zachary P. Stephens/Brattleboro Reformer)
The Dummerston Covered Bridge was damaged by a truck driver over the weekend. (Zachary P. Stephens/Brattleboro Reformer)
Friday April 5, 2013

DUMMERSTON -- Repairs at the damaged Dummerston Covered Bridge won't cost much and won't disrupt traffic for very long.

That's the word from the Dummerston Selectboard, which received an estimate of less than $6,000 to fix damage from the Sunday evening truck accident. Officials say they are going through the insurance process so that the town does not have to foot that bill.

While the job is not considered a top priority, Road Foreman Lee Chamberlin said it will happen relatively soon.

"It needs to be fixed," Chamberlin said. "I don't want it looking like that forever."

State police say 23-year-old William Miller of Dummerston didn't realize the bridge's height restriction when he drove a box truck through the 141-year-old structure on Sunday.

The truck's rear cargo section damaged a cross beam and tore the bridge's portal trim, police said.

Miller, who allegedly drove away without reporting the damage to police, was cited for leaving the scene of an accident. He is scheduled for arraignment next month.

The bridge, which carries East-West Road over the West River, remains open. Chamberlin said he was called to the scene to assess the bridge immediately after the accident.

"I went over, looked at it -- there was nothing structural," he told the Selectboard Wednesday.

Town Clerk Pam McFadden said she has submitted a property-loss claim to the Vermont League of Cities & Towns, Dummerston's insurer.

The town also asked Vernon-based Renaud Bros. Inc. -- which handled repairs to the covered bridge's wing walls last year -- to assess the damage.

Renaud's repair estimate is $5,750. That includes removing and repairing damaged siding and trim as well as fabrication and installation of a new cross beam.

Officials said removing the damaged material would take about a half day.

"They would close it to traffic, and everybody would be diverted down to the Green Iron Bridge," McFadden said.

Completing the job would take another half day, with the bridge again closing for a few hours, officials said.

There is no schedule for that work at this point. The Selectboard did not take any action on the matter Wednesday.

Mike Faher can be reached at mfaher@reformer.com or 802-254-2311, ext. 275.