Perhaps the most unsuccessful post-First World War soldier settlement was in the remote Mangapūrua valley, accessible only via the Whanganui River. When the area was first opened up, in 1919, a wooden swing bridge was built, enabling residents to cross a steep gorge separating them from the access point on the Whanganui River. In 1936 the bridge was replaced by this concrete structure, part of a planned route to Whangamōmona in inland Taranaki. However the farms proved uneconomic. In 1942 the last settlers left, and the road was never built. The bridge later became a popular attraction for canoeists along the Whanganui River, and was nicknamed the 'bridge to nowhere'.
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