Victoria Bridge, Hamilton

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Victoria Bridge
Carries Motor vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians
Crosses Waikato River
Other name(s) Hamilton Traffic Bridge
Owner Hamilton City Council
Preceded by Cobham Bridge
Followed by Claudelands Bridge
Longest span 103.6 m[1]
No. of spans three
Piers in water nil
Designer James Fulton
Constructed by G M Fraser[1]
Construction start 1909
Opened 1910

Victoria Bridge (originally known as the Hamilton Traffic Bridge and later also as The Bridge Street Bridge) is a steel arch bridge in Hamilton, New Zealand. The bridge has a Category I heritage protection.

The bridge has a main arch of 340 ft (100 m) and 4 land spans. Its total length is 500 ft (150 m). The road is 18 ft (5.5 m) wide and the footpath 4.5 ft (1.4 m). It cost £25,500,[2] equivalent to over $4m in 2017.[3] It replaced the 1879 timber Union Bridge.[4]

Location and names[edit]

The bridge connects the suburbs of Hamilton Central and Hamilton East. The bridge was designed by James Fulton, and G M Fraser was the contractor. Work erecting the bridge, which was pre-fabricated in England by the Cleveland Bridge & Engineering Company, started in 1909.[1][5]

The road that goes over the bridge has changed names several times. Up until 1930, the road was known as Richmond Street. A commemorative plaque refers to it as Hamilton Road, though. The name changed to Bridge Street. The latest name change happened in November 2015, when the road was officially renamed as Anzac Parade.[6]


In 1919 the western king posts needed strengthening. A decade later, the foundations had spread 6 in (150 mm) and the crown of the arch had dropped 12.5 in (320 mm). Over the next 3 years the foundations spread up to a further ⅜in. and the crown settled up to another inch. Also the deck reinforcing was very corroded. 6.5 ton and 10mph limits were imposed.[2] It was repaired and jacked up in 1937.[7]

Heritage registration[edit]

On 30 August 1990, the bridge was registered as a Category I 'Historic Place' with the New Zealand Historic Places Trust (now known as Heritage New Zealand).[8]

Present day[edit]

Art on Victoria bridge
Maori protest figure

In 2010, the bridge celebrated its 100th year with a party in the park and unveiled a permanent interactive LED lighting system designed to illuminate the bridge for 10–15 years. This project was funded via a donation from the Perry Foundation.[citation needed] The party in the park featured a parade containing people in period costume and classic cars and rides and events for children. The event culminated in the display of a specially commissioned film projected onto a large screen next to the PS Rangiriri, Hamilton's historic paddle steamer in Hamilton East. At the end of the film, the light show was launched. The colour kinetics interactive lighting feature spans the entire structure and took seven days of rigging and many months of planning to install. The bridge is transformed into specific colours at certain times in order to welcome visiting sports teams and to celebrate national or local occasions.[citation needed]

Bronze figures depicting local historical figures have been fixed to the railings since 2010 to celebrate Hamilton's early years and connection to the river. These have faced some controversy as they appear to favour colonial histories to the detriment of the rich indigenous cultural connection to the area, and are a subject of some protest. From time to time "balancing" figures appear, highlighting these apparently missing elements.


  1. ^ a b c "Victoria Bridge, Hamilton". Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand. Retrieved 19 June 2017. 
  2. ^ a b "BRIDGE IN DANGER. (New Zealand Herald, 1932-05-06)". National Library of New Zealand. Retrieved 2017-06-30. 
  3. ^ "Inflation Calculator". Reserve Bank of NZ. 
  4. ^ "Union Bridge". Hamilton. Retrieved 2017-06-26. 
  5. ^ "Bridges". Hamilton City Council. Retrieved 25 June 2017. 
  6. ^ Leaman, Aaron (1 December 2015). "Hamilton's Bridge Street renamed Anzac Parade". Retrieved 25 June 2017. 
  7. ^ "LIFTING A BRIDGE Workmen jacking-up one of the ends of the Hamilton Traffic Bridge during the extensive repairs which are now being carried out. The ends of the bridge had subsided by as much as eight inches. (New Zealand Herald, 1937-11-15)". National Library of New Zealand. Retrieved 2017-06-30. 
  8. ^ "Victoria Bridge". Register of Historic Places. Heritage New Zealand. Retrieved 15 November 2015. 

Coordinates: 37°47′28.69″S 175°17′23.22″E / 37.7913028°S 175.2897833°E / -37.7913028; 175.2897833