Bertrand Road suspension bridge

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Bertrand Road suspension bridge
Bertrand road suspension bridge.jpg
Coordinates 39°02′50″S 174°15′18″E / 39.0473°S 174.2550°E / -39.0473; 174.2550Coordinates: 39°02′50″S 174°15′18″E / 39.0473°S 174.2550°E / -39.0473; 174.2550
Carries One lane of Bertrand road
4 tonne limit
Crosses Waitara River
Locale Taranaki, New Zealand
Characteristics
Design Suspension Bridge
Longest span 61 metres (200 ft)
History
Construction end 1927

The Bertrand Road suspension bridge crosses the Waitara River, linking Huirangi, near Lepperton and Tikorangi in north Taranaki, New Zealand. The original bridge was built in 1897, and rebuilt in 1927 (using an adapted form of the original design).

The original idea for the bridge was proposed by a Waitara councillor, Levi Sarten, as crossing the river to Tikorangi was proving treacherous, and road access to the area was poor.[1] The bridge was subsequently built across the river in 1897, with a length of 210 feet, a width of 9 feet and at a cost of £695.[2]

In the 1920s, the bridge was damaged by flooding, and was dismantled to build another crossing, using wood and steelwork from its predecessor. The second crossing opened in 1927, using a modified version of the original design, which made the bridge stronger and more wind resistant.[3]

Over time, the bridge started to age, with height and weight restrictions imposed to extend its life. The bridge was eventually declared unsafe, and was closed to vehicular traffic in 1985.[4] This resulted in a 16 kilometre detour. However, the bridge was still open for foot traffic and recreational use. Many attempts to reopen the bridge were unsuccessful, and the bridge became completely closed to all users in 2004.

A trust was set up to reopen the bridge, with a community fundraising scheme. This included a "buy a plank" initiative, where a donation saw the donor's name engraved on the bridge. Further funding was received from the TSB Community Trust, and the New Zealand Lottery Environment and Heritage Committee.

Using as much of the old bridge design as possible, and after raising $630,000, the bridge was reopened to all traffic in June 2006.[5] The bridge now has a central span of 61 metres and a maximum weight restriction of 4 tonnes.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hoskin, Sorrel. "'Norma Schultz and the Bertrand Rd. Bridge'". Retrieved 2007-12-31. . For information on Mr. Sarten, see Bartle, Rhonda. "'Levi Sarten and the Hole in the Wall'". Archived from the original on 2008-05-17. Retrieved 2007-12-31. 
  2. ^ Hoskin, Sorrel. "'Norma Schultz and the Bertrand Rd. Bridge'". Retrieved 2007-12-31.  Hoskin notes the width of the bridge as being 14 feet.
  3. ^ "'IPENZ Heritage Newsletter June 2007'" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-05-31. , page 4.
  4. ^ Hoskin, Sorrel. "'Norma Schultz and the Bertrand Rd. Bridge'". Retrieved 2007-12-31.  and Cycling Advocates' New Zealand "'Bridge trust may be running out of time'". Retrieved 2007-12-31.  agree that the bridge was closed in 1985. Page 5 of the following source "'IPENZ Heritage Newsletter June 2007'" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-05-31.  claims that the bridge was closed in 1995.
  5. ^ Hoskin, Sorrel. "'Norma Schultz and the Bertrand Rd. Bridge'". Retrieved 2007-12-31. 
  6. ^ "'IPENZ Heritage Newsletter June 2007'" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-10-14. Retrieved 2013-05-31.  page 5

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