- Hartland Covered Bridge
- 391 metre(s)
- Canada (Hartland)
The longest covered bridge is the Hartland Covered Bridge, a seven-span wooden truss bridge which spans the Saint John River in Hartland, New Brunswick, Canada. The bridge, which was constructed in 1901, measures 391 m (1,282 ft) from one bank to the other.
Covered bridges are a once-common type of bridge used primarily in North America. These bridges consist of one or more wooden truss spans, covered with weatherboarding and a shingle roof. The covering prevents weathering from damaging the joints of the truss, which would drastically shorten the lifespan of a bridge in the harsh winter conditions of the northern US or Canada.
The Hartland bridge was originally constructed in 1901 as an open "Howe Truss" bridge (a design that uses diagonal and vertical bracing) with wooden piling piers. On 6 April 1920, two spans of this original bridge were destroyed by river ice. During the reconstruction work the original wooden pilings were replaced with concrete piers, and the truss bridge was covered to protect it from the elements.
The bridge was bypassed by a large modern bridge in 1960, but the covered bridge was kept for local traffic. It has only a single lane and there are tight restrictions on the maximum size and weight of vehicles allowed on the bridge.
Longer covered bridges have been built, but are no longer extant. The longest ever were the first and second Columbia-Wrightsville Bridges across the Sesquehanna River in Pennsylvania, USA. The first covered bridge, built in 1814, was 1,730 m in length and destroyed by winter ice in 1832. The second measured 1,710 m from end-to-end and was destroyed during the American Civil War in 1863.