London: The 111th anniversary of World’s longest Hartland covered bridge, New Brunswick is being celebrated in Canada with Google Doodle on homepages in the country.
The 391m-long covered bridge — the longest in the world — officially opened July 4, 1901, and has spanned the St. John River ever since.
The bridge was constructed in 1901 by the Hartland Bridge Company. It was funded by tolls until it was purchased by the provincial government in 1906. The bridge was not originally built covered. A fire in 1907 burnt some of the structure and nearly destroyed the toll house.
In 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. The bridge was declared a National Historic Site of Canada in 1980, and a Provincial Historic Site in 1999.
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 1980, it was declared a National Historic Site of Canada.
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.