Swanzey, New Hampshire


East of N.H. Route 32 on Carleton Road, one-half mile south of Swanzey Village spanning the South Branch Ashuelot River in Swanzey.
Style of Bridge:
Year of Construction:
Approximately 1789
Original Cost:
15 pounds
Structural Characteristics:
The bridge has an overall length of 67'3" with a clear span of 60'3". It has an overall width of 16'6" with a roadway width of 12'4" and a maximum vertical clearance of 11'7". It has fully sheathed sides. The structure is posted for three tons.
Maintained By:
Town of Swanzey
World Guide Number:
New Hampshire Number:

bridge             bridge

Historical Remarks:
Town records indicate the original bridge at this site was constructed in 1789, however, the exact date has not been verified. The current bridge was built in 1869. According to local tradition, the bridge was built by local barn builders since the truss construction of the bridge is similar to that used in barns. When it was built, a wagon fully loaded with hay was used as a standard for the height and width of the opening. The bridge was closed in June 1974 to await town appropriations for repairs, rebuilding, or reconstruction. On Flag Day, June 14, 1975, as a part of the Swanzey Bicentennial Commission program, the Carleton Bridge was painted by residents of the town. The Carleton Bridge was the smallest of the four covered bridges to be painted by the townspeople and was completed in five hours time. The bridge is now in need of major repairs. In 1979, the New Hampshire Department of Transportation estimated that it would cost $487,000 to build a new covered bridge in its place. The Carleton Bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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Table of Contents

New Hampshire Bridges

New Hampshire Covered Bridges
Compiled and edited by
Richard G. Marshall
Chief System Planning
New Hampshire Department of Transportation
Color photographs by Arthur F. Rounds