Oct. 14, 2009
CLOVERDALE (CNB) - A transportation landmark in Carleton County has been destroyed by an overnight fire.
Transportation Minister Denis Landry said that the North Becaguimec River #1 Bridge on the Furlong Road was totally destroyed. Built in 1948, the structure is commonly referred to as the Adair covered bridge, and was located off Route 104, northeast of Hartland.
Landry said that he is sad and very disappointed to learn of the blaze.
"New Brunswick's covered bridges are an important part of our history and are part of the character of our rural areas," he said. "They really are a jewel and a celebrated piece of heritage for these communities. While residents have fond memories of growing up with these symbols, our covered bridges are also a popular draw today for visitors and bike tours. Many people enjoy taking pictures of them and experiencing the unique window on history that they represent."
Landry expressed his appreciation to the Hartland Fire Department and local Department of Transportation staff for their efforts in responding to the incident. Fire officials were first called at 1 a.m., and when they arrived on site the structure was engulfed in flames. Authorities are investigating the cause of the fire.
Landry said that a major upgrade of the structure was just finished last year, with a new bridge deck and driving surface, a new roof and various improvements to strengthen the housing and posts. The bridge abutments were also changed in previous years.
"This bridge was in very good condition, and to see the pictures of the damage is upsetting," said Landry. "For the people in the Cloverdale area, those who would have walked across the bridge, drove their bikes, and vehicles or rode horses through it, it is certainly a loss."
Furlong Road residents and local traffic will be using an alternate road to get to their destinations.
New Brunswick now has 62 covered bridges, 59 of which are maintained by the Department of Transportation. At the turn of the 19th century, there were more than 400 bridges.
MEDIA CONTACT: Andrew Holland, communications, Department of Transportation, 506-453-5634.