Covered Bridges of New Brunswick

Photo : Ray Boucher

These iconic structures are being lost across the province to flooding, maintenance issues and lack of expert attention.

Why they matter:

Approximately 340 of these bridges existed at their peak in the 1940s, when a new network of roads connected communities across the province. Only 58 remain today. Representing more than a simple aid to transportation, the covered bridges of New Brunswick symbolize the province’s growth and prosperity in the 20th century.

Why they are endangered:

With each passing year, New Brunswick’s covered bridges are increasingly at risk of irreparable damage or demolition due to a range of natural forces, accidents, vandalism, and lack of maintenance. Recent ice and flood waters have taken their toll, weakening and immediately threatening the future of many bridges.

Update: In 2019, former transportation and infrastructure minister Bill Oliver announced his government would develop a strategy to preserve covered bridges in New Brunswick. In an interview, Oliver said his office created a short list of five bridges in the province that needed restoring. In 2020 the Bayswater Covered Bridge received a million-dollar restoration and it will be re-opened in 2021. It will be able to carry large emergency service vehicles. The hope is that this project will be a precedent for more restoration projects for covered bridges in the future.

Location: New Brunswick

Top 10 Endangered Places List: 2018

Status: Positive Outlook

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