Buskirk’s Covered Bridge

Buskirk, NY

Buskirk’s Bridge is a one-lane covered bridge, 14-panel, patented, Howe-truss structure (timber diagonals with vertical iron rods) with a total length of about 160 feet. The bridge connects Washington and Rensselaer Counties. It was built in 1850 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Reinforcement and replacement work was done over the years. Despite work, deterioration and damage continued. The bridge was closed to traffic because of a combination of cracks, deterioration, and fire damage. Ryan-Biggs was retained to perform a preliminary structural assessment. We developed recommendations and preliminary costs for rehabilitation and repairs. Our study was incorporated into a Historic Structures Report. Ryan-Biggs was again retained to design rehabilitations and provide inspection services. The project was coordinated with NYSDOT, SHPO, NYSDEC, and the US Department of the Interior. The superstructure rehabilitation included: a complete deck replacement, replacement of all Spruce floor beams with glulam floor beams, complete replacement of the Spruce bottom chord timbers and truss rods. The substructure work included: soil grouting beneath the concrete-faced stone abutments and riprap installation to reduce scour vulnerability and foundation concerns. The bridge was reopened to carry trucks up to 15 tons.