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West Cornwall Bridge,
Bridge No. 1338
West Cornwall Bridge, view: east
• Route 128 over Housatonic River
• Covered Timber truss
• Length: 172'
• Built in 1864
West Cornwall's covered bridge is an excellent example of the Town lattice truss, with its red-spruce timbers secured by a pair of treenails (slotted and wedged to hold them in place) at every intersection. For many years it was thought that this bridge was built in 1841 to replace one washed away in the flood of 1837, but recent research by Michael R. Gannett for the Cornwall Historical Society has shown that the correct date is 1864. The center pier supporting the middle of the bridge was probably reused from the earlier structure. One source gives 1887 as the date when a secondary queen-post truss was added, probably to stiffen the bridge, since wooden trusses had a tendency to sag.
In 1973 the Connecticut Department of Transportation rehabilitated the bridge by inserting a concealed steel deck to bear the weight of the traffic. The project won the Federal Highway Administration's outstanding historic preservation award. The bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.