Story: Bridges and tunnels

Rakaia road and rail bridges, 1959

Rakaia road and rail bridges, 1959

The Rakaia River in Canterbury was originally crossed by a timber bridge, begun in 1869 and modified to carry both road and rail traffic in 1873. Two new bridges – the road bridge on the left and the rail bridge on the right – were completed in 1939. The road bridge was funded by the Main Highways Board and built by the Public Works Department. The two bridges, over 1.7 kilometres long, are the longest road and rail bridges in New Zealand.

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Alexander Turnbull Library, Whites Aviation Collection
Reference: WA-49562

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Jock Phillips, 'Bridges and tunnels - Building bridges and tunnels', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 27 September 2020)

Story by Jock Phillips, published 11 Mar 2010