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    Author(s): Ronald W. Anthony
    Date: 2018
    Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. FPL-GTR-252. Madison, WI: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory. 58 p.
    Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
    Station: Forest Products Laboratory
    PDF: Download Publication  (5.0 MB)


    These guidelines are designed for decision makers (selectmen, county commissioners, city planners, preservation officers, etc.) that have responsibility for repairing and maintaining existing covered bridges to help them understand what goes into making effective decisions about how, and when, to repair a covered bridge. The purpose of these guidelines is to present the steps necessary for decision makers to identify effective rehabilitation techniques for restoring the structural integrity of covered bridge members. The intent is to retain the maximum amount of historic fabric while ensuring public safety and minimizing future maintenance requirements. To make informed repair decisions about existing covered bridges, it is important to (1) start with a basic understanding of the type of bridge, (2) know the current condition, (3) be informed of what to consider when conducting an engineering analysis, and (4) be aware of various repair options that can meet the long-term goals for the bridge. Only after the decision maker knows the type of bridge, its condition, and to what loads it is subjected can a repair strategy be developed. How to support the bridge during the repair phase, what repairs are appropriate, and how to maintain the bridge after repairs are implemented are all critical to ensuring a long service life for the covered bridge.

    Publication Notes

    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Anthony, Ronald W. 2018. Guidelines to restoring structural integrity of covered bridge members. Gen. Tech. Rep. FPL-GTR-252. Madison, WI: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory. 58 p.


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    Covered bridges, historic, guidelines, repair, restore, structural integrity

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