DescriptionThe 391-metre-long (1,282-ft.) Hartland Covered Bridge, reputedly the world's longest, carries Hwy. 103 across the Saint John River. Bridges were originally covered for protection from the weather; based on exposure to the elements, the life expectancy of a regular bridge was perhaps 10 years, while a covered bridge might last up to a century. There was one drawback in the winter—snow had to be hauled and spread across the bridge floor so that sleds could cross.
With its barn-like roof, a covered bridge eased farm animals' fears of crossing the river. And the cover of darkness provided an opportunity for young suitors to steal a kiss. Ministers opposed construction of Hartland's “kissing bridge” as a corrupting influence, but they were outvoted; the bridge was completed in 1922.