Monday, July 3, 2017

Hartland NB

Last week I posted the only covered bridge in Ontario. This week I am highlighting the world's longest covered bridge.

The Hartland Bridge in Hartland, New Brunswick, is the world's longest covered bridge, at 1,282 feet (391 m) long. It crosses the Saint John River from Hartland to Somerville, New Brunswick, Canada. The framework consists of seven small Howe Truss bridges joined together on six piers.

Before the bridge, the only way to cross the Saint John River was by ferry. Plans and specifications of the bridge began in 1898 and the bridge was constructed in 1901 by the Hartland Bridge Company. On May 13, 1901, Dr. Estey was the first person to cross the bridge before its scheduled opening, because he had to respond to an emergency call. Workers placed planks on the bridge so he could drive across the bridge. It was finally inaugurated by Justice McKeowan on July 4, 1901 before a crowd of 2,000 people. It was funded by tolls until it was purchased by the provincial government on May 1, 1906. The bridge was not originally built covered.

A fire in 1907 burnt some of the structure and nearly destroyed the toll house.

On April 6, 1920, two spans of the bridge collapsed due to river ice. The bridge reopened in 1922 after construction to repair the structure, at which time the bridge was also covered, despite some local opposition. The wooden piers were also converted to concrete.

A pedestrian walkway was added to the bridge in 1945. In 1966, vandals attempted to burn the bridge down In 1970, heavy trucks were barred from crossing the bridge.

In 1982, the bridge was again closed for repairs after a car struck a steel beam, causing part of the bridge to drop. The bridge was reopened to traffic on February 10, 1983.

In the winter of 2007, the bridge was closed due to the central beam splitting down the middle. It has since been reopened after repairs were carried out.

On July 4, 2012, in honour of its 111th anniversary, it was celebrated with a Google Doodle on Google's Canadian homepage.

When the bridge was mostly used by horse and wagon, couples would stop half-way across to share a kiss. The first wedding on the bridge was celebrated in September 1992 between Charmaine Laffoley and Dana Hunt from Toronto. It is thought by some locals to be good luck to hold one's breath the entire way across while driving.


  1. I love those covered bridges. What a treat to see so many!

  2. I have been across it twice. It is quite a thing to see!

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  4. ...Jackie, now that's quite a story. Many bridges have had a hard life. Thanks for sharing this treasure, please stop back again.

  5. Love that I can learn things through shared bloggers. Your story makes the bridge sound like a fun adventure. I really don't like driving over bridges with the water below, but this covered one would be a have to if ever in the area. Thanks for sharing.

    Peabea@Peabea Scribbles

  6. We've been there! We visited friends that live near Hartland a couple years ago and had family pictures taken at the bridge.

  7. This looks very much like the Windsor-Cornish covered bridge over the Connecticut River which until I read your post and checked online I thought was the longest in the world. I'm now properly informed. It is really neat to walk through one of these. We stayed at an AirBnB in Cornish, NH that was next to a covered bridge - a short one but easily walkable.


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