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In the 1870s, there were proposals to extend the Whitecliffs Branch railway into the Rakaia Gorge, and an 1880 Royal Commission on New Zealand's railway network was in favour of this proposal, but it never came to fruition.
The Rakaia Gorge bridge was completed in 1882 and provides an inland alternative to the more frequently used Rakaia River bridge just north of the town of Rakaia. The bridge carries State Highway 77 and the Inland Scenic Route and connects the settlements of Glentunnel and Methven
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