In New Hampshire: a Rare Span

"Fixing this bridge won't be easy," Milton Graton says, shaking his head as he surveys the long wood-covered passageway across the Connecticut River. "It's a complicated job. If it's done right, the bridge will be around a long time. But if it isn't, it could just fall in the river."

Graton is standing on the heavy planks that form the floor of the longest remaining covered bridge in the U.S., planks that shake a bit as cars and pickup trucks rumble past. The 120-year-old bridge, considered one of the country's historical treasures, links Cornish, N.H., with Windsor, Vt., leaping the brown,...

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