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This engineering plan on linen depicts one of the test piles employed in the construction of the second Fitzherbert Bridge. For more than 140 years, the Fitzherbert Bridge across the Manawatū River has been a vital piece of infrastructure, helping to connect Palmerston North with the surrounding argicultural hinterland. During the 1920s the deterioration of the original timber structure and an increase in motor traffic led to calls for a new bridge. In 1929 the Government Main Highways Board offered to pay two thirds of the cost, with the Palmerston North Borough Council and the Kairanga County Council jointly funding the remaining third. Plans and specifications were prepared by the Municipalities Engineering staff under the supervision of John R. Hughes, the City Engineer. The contract was awarded to Fletcher Construction Company Ltd., which constructed the bridge between 1933 and 1935. The new concrete bridge was 256 meters in length with a 6.7 meters wide carriageway and 1.5 meters wide footpath. The structure’s most distinctive feature were the four pairs of bowstring arches, each 34.1 meters wide and 9.2 meters high. The total cost of construction was £34,074. It was demolished in 1987, following the construction of the current Fitzherbert Bridge.


Object type
Maps and Plans: Fitzherbert Bridge
PNCC 4/8/8
1932 to 1933
Digitisation ID
Held In
PNCC Archives


Community Tags
fitzherbert bridge,

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