FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 29, 2019
Oldest surviving covered railroad bridge to receive a facelift
The N.H. Division of Historical Resources has announced that the Contoocook Covered Railroad Bridge will be stained and receive minor repairs starting April 30, weather dependent.
The bridge spans the Contoocook River at the junction of N.H. Routes 103 and 127. The project is expected to last several weeks but not affect vehicular traffic flow. Pedestrians and others accustomed to using the covered bridge are encouraged to use the sidewalks on the adjacent roadway bridge while work is underway. Neighboring businesses and parking areas will remain accessible.
Built in 1889 for the Concord and Claremont railroad, the Contoocook Covered Railroad Bridge is the oldest surviving covered railroad bridge in the world and served rail traffic until 1960. It was listed to the National Register of Historic Places on January 11, 1980.
“New Hampshire is known the world over for its covered bridges, and this special bridge is one we can be particularly proud of,” said Elizabeth H. Muzzey, NHDHR director and state historic preservation officer. “We are pleased to be able to preserve it so that it may be enjoyed and studied by future generations.”
The project is funded through the Conservation and Heritage License Plate Program. One hundred percent of funds raised through the sales of “Moose Plates” are used for a variety of historical, conservation and cultural conservation projects.
The Town of Hopkinton’s 250th Anniversary Committee, the Contoocook Railway Association, and Capitol Paint and Wallpaper Company have partnered with the NHDHR on the project.
New Hampshire’s Division of Historical Resources, the State Historic Preservation Office, was established in 1974 and is part of the NH Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. NHDHR’s mission is to preserve and celebrate New Hampshire’s irreplaceable historic resources through programs and services that provide education, stewardship, and protection. For more information, visit us online at nh.gov/nhdhr or by calling 603-271-3483.