A jewel of the heritage has been smashed

News 18 December, 2017
  • Photo courtesy Michel Grondin
    A trucker would have damaged the covered bridge in Freeport in the Montérégie region, on Friday, but would also have ripped out the two portals used to keep vehicles that are too high.

    Vincent Larin

    Sunday, December 17, 2017 23:00

    Sunday, December 17, 2017 23:00

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    A trucker and carefree would have smashed one of the last covered bridges in Quebec dating back nearly 150 years, not far from Cowansville, Montérégie, without even stopping.

    “It is sad, because it is a crown jewel of our region,” says the mayor of Cowansville, Sylvie Beauregard.

    Photo courtesy

    Sylvie Beauregard

    She learned with amazement that the covered bridge in Freeport, built in the 1870s, had been rear-ended by a driver Friday morning.

    In addition to the roof of the bridge, was somewhat bruised, the two portals used to measure the height of vehicles on each side of the bridge had been completely uprooted, she points out.

    Photo courtesy Michel Grondin

    A driver has been arrested and will be awarded a statement of offence, said a spokesman of the Sûreté du Québec. The incident would be considered a hit-and-run.

    Never happened in 20 years

    The structure has been blocked to traffic until the authorities inspect its state.

    Fire minor had already damaged the covered bridge last summer, but this would be the first time in twenty years that a vehicle too big the stamps, says the mayor Beauregard who lives in Cowansville since 1994.

    “For us, it is important to do everything to be able to keep it,” said Mrs. Beauregard, who hopes that the ministry of Transportation will work to repair it.

    More than 83 in Quebec

    According to the former president of the Association of the covered bridges of Québec by Gérald Arbour, these incidents, however, are commonplace across the province.

    Nearly 1,500 covered bridges would have been built in Québec, and the most recent dates from 1958 and is located in the Abitibi region, ” he says. Since then, no more has been built, and only 83 covered bridges are still passable, according to Mr. Arbour.

    “It is no longer suitable, buses, ambulances, and trucks of garbage do not pass,” says the author of a book entirely dedicated to the covered bridges. The value of the last few copies has therefore become even greater, according to Mr. Arbour.