In 1895 and 1897 two major floods of the Manawatu River occurred, severely damaging the original Fitzherbert Bridge built 1877. It washedaway one span at the southern end and weakened three sets of piles. The water main from Tiritea was also broken and the town was without water for several days. Permanent repair work was carried out in 1898 and consisted of building a new span of 85 feet and replacing the damaged timber piles with three pairs of cast-iron cylinders, filled with concrete. The remaining timber piles were also widened and strengthened. The total cost of this work was ₤6,000.