Honeymoon Covered Bridge reopens in Jackson after weekend crashBy PAUL FEELY
New Hampshire Union Leader
and JOHN KOZIOL
Union Leader Correspondent
July 02. 2018 4:42PM
JACKSON — The historic Honeymoon Covered Bridge has reopened to vehicular traffic, following emergency repairs made by state highway crews Monday after a vehicle crashed into one of the structure’s support beams over the weekend.
Bill Boynton, public information officer for the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT), said the Honeymoon Bridge was officially reopened to traffic at 12:21 p.m. Monday.
Members of the NHDOT’s Glenn Patrol shed and bridge maintenance crew responded Saturday around 9:30 p.m. to the Honeymoon Covered Bridge on Route 16A over the Ellis River in Jackson, to investigate a report of a vehicle that crashed into the portal support and first truss upright on the village side of the bridge.
Jackson Police Chief Chris Perley said an 18-year-old Conway woman was at the wheel of the 2006 Subaru station wagon; she suffered a laceration to her hand.
He said speed, driver inattention and driver distraction have been determined to be contributing factors to the accident. The driver may face violation-level motor vehicle charges, he said.
The bridge was closed with barricades Saturday night. Maintenance crews returned to the site Sunday morning, installing more closure signs and putting additional barricades in place.
A bridge inspection team reported to the site Monday morning, and temporary repairs were made.
“There is temporary support in place in the area that was damaged that allows for safe passage by passenger vehicles at the normal 3 ton posting,” said Boynton. “A replacement bridge member will be fabricated and the bridge will need to be temporarily closed at some point to make the permanent repair.”
The date of that scheduled closure for permanent repairs has yet to be determined, Boynton said.
A planned temporary closure of the Honeymoon Covered Bridge was scheduled for this morning for bridge-washing work, and Boynton said that project was completed while repairs were being made.
The span was struck and seriously damaged about a decade ago, said Perley, recalling the bridge then was closed for more than a week for repairs.
“If you’re going to have an accident, this is the best kind to have,” he said, because the driver sustained a very minor injury and also because the town was able to work around the bridge closure.
Some 3,000 people came to Jackson Village for a fireworks celebration Sunday, he said, but all were able to get in and out of the area by using the northerly downtown loop entrance on Route 16.
The Honeymoon Covered Bridge was built about 1876 by Charles Austin Broughton and his son Frank. According to town records, the sidewalk was added in 1930. Originally, the trusses were more exposed than they are today.
In 1965 the approach from Route 16 was rebuilt to improve visibility and to provide parking.
The landmark bridge is a popular location for marriage proposals, and for use as a backdrop for engagement and wedding photos.