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Record type: Notional

Record: Bridges of Rangitikei County Exhibition: Bulls Bridge


Bridges of Rangitikei County:

Bulls Bridge

The first bridge at the site was constructed in 1873 by the Wellington Provincial Council. It was destroyed in the great flood of 1897. After much wrangling over its location, construction of a proper replacement was completed in March 1903.

Discussions on a new bridge started as early as the 1920s, but no agreement could be made on how it would be funded. In the 1930s the Government assumed control of the bridge as part of State Highway One and a replacement opened in 1949.

In 1973 part of the southern end of the bridge collapsed as a bus drove over it. Fortunately the driver was the only occupant and although injured in the fall he was rescued before the bus sank. Investigations found the river had undermined one of the piers. The collapsed parts were rebuilt and if you drive over the bridge today, you can tell the newer part from the original by the different railings.



First bridge before the 1897 flood.

Reference: A/2013/4 Box 11


Second Bridge, circa 1920.

Reference: A/2013/4 Album 2




Second and third bridges side by side, 1949.

Reference: HRC 00266 : 1-R83  



Bulls Bridge collapse, 1973.

Reference: HRC 00266 : 2-R292



Plan of existing (first) bridge, 1895.

Reference: MDC plan 2003 


Plan showing possible locations for replacement bridge, circa 1897.

Reference: MDC plan 2003/3






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