Bull’s Bridge in Kent closed for roof replacement
Updated 5:48 pm, Tuesday, December 1, 2015
KENT — The historic Bull’s Bridge will be closed for three weeks while its roof is replaced.
The bridge, which crosses the Housatonic River where it bends near the New York line, was closed Monday.
The roof replacement will be done with Enviroshakes, a composite roofing material including 95 percent recycled material. The bridge’s steel supports will be repainted as well.
The work is being done by Scholar Painting, of Seymour, and will be paid for with a $100,000 grant awarded in 2013 from the state Small Town Economic Assistance Program.
“In the world of roofing, it’s not that big a job,” First Selectman Bruce Adams said. “But given the location over the river, scaffolding and netting have to be installed, lengthening the process.”
“They’ve closed the road roughly until mid-December and plan to have it closed weekdays and open weekends,” Adams added.
The Eviroshake shingles have a look much like cedar, he said. The town received permission from the state Historical Preservation Office to use the new shingles.
The original covered bridge was built in 1842.
“The site has historical significance, but in reality there’s not much of the original bridge structure,” Adams said. “The present bridge has a steel deck. The last roof was put on in 1994.”
The covered bridge provides access to the Appalachian Trail, but is an attraction in its own right.
Public use of the area is heavy, and littering occasionally has become such a problem that agencies including the National Park Service, the state chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club, the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and First Light, which owns land in the area, have met to address it.
In 2012, boulders were placed along Route 7 west of the bridge to keep visitors from parking too close to the roadway. A new parking area was installed east of the bridge in 2013.
Drivers looking for alternate routes to New York during the closure can use the Route 341 bridge in Kent Center or Route 55 near the Gaylordsville section of New Milford.