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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 4, Issue 5 (September 1, 1929)

The Whenuakura Bridge

The Whenuakura Bridge.

The Whenuakura bridge crosses the Whenuakura River between Rangikura Patea, on the Marton-New Plymouth section. The new bridge will have a single main span of 142 feet resting on reinforced concrete cylinder piers, and three 60ft. plate girder spans.

The original bridge, constructed of native timber, in about the year 1880, consisted of two 60ft. trusses and nine 20ft. beam spans, all carried on high timber piers. One of the main piers and the two 60ft. truss spans were carried away in a heavy flood in January 1922. A temporary reconstruction has served to carry the traffic at a reduced speed up to the present. The old timbers are now worn out, and the extra temporary piers, constructed in mid-stream, have caused heavy scour and weakening of the foundations which can only be relieved by the removal of the temporary piers now obstructing the waterway, necessitating the construction of a long main span. The wash-out in 1922 was mainly due to a log jam between the bridge piers, and the new main span has been made long enough to prevent any such blockage in future.