A historic bridge in the Aroostook County town of Littleton has been declared a complete loss after a fire that destroyed the 110-year-old structure on Monday.

The Watson Settlement Bridge, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, could not be saved after fire broke around 2:45 p.m. Monday, according to a statement from Shannon Moss, spokesperson for the State Fire Marshal’s Office.

The covered, wooden bridge, which was built in 1911, spans the Meduxnekeag River, and is located in Littleton, which is north of Houlton.

The state Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the cause and origin of the fire. Investigators are asking anyone with information to contact their office at 888-870-6162. The public is being asked to remain a safe distance from the bridge, which is located off Framingham Road, since it is structurally unsafe.

According to the Maine Department of Transportation, the bridge is a civil engineering landmark, the oldest surviving example of a Howe timber truss system used in a Maine covered bridge.

The 170-foot bridge was closed permanently to vehicle traffic in 1984 when a new bridge was built to replace it. The bridge got its name from the Watson homestead, which was located nearby.


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