Weekend storm claims another historic covered bridge in New Brunswick

New Brunswick's stock of historic and picturesque covered bridges continues to decline, with the province acknowledging it cannot save one ravaged by ice and flood waters over the weekend.

Transportation Minister Bill Fraser says the Bell Bridge in Hoyt, between Fredericton and Saint John, suffered too much damage and will have to be replaced with a modern bridge.

He says 17 families who rely on the bridge currently only have access through a temporary woods road.

Hoyt resident Debbie McCann says it's devastating news because the bridge, built in 1931, is a significant landmark in the community and a draw for tourists.

There are currently 59 covered bridges in the province following the removal of the Hammond River bridge last year.

New Brunswick is also home to the world's longest covered bridge at 390-metres long, in Hartland.