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NZASM Barberton Branch Line Bridge over the Kaap River at Avoca
Barberton district, Mpumalanga

NZASM: Nederlandsche Zuid-Afrikaansche Spoorweg-Maatschappij: Architect
MOWAT and STILL: Contractor

Type:Railway Bridge


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25°40'50.52" S 31°10'12.16" E

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The bridge, one of the largest of the NZASM railway system, is one of two on this line bridging the Kaap River, a third being on the Eastern Line just before the junction with this line at Kaapmuiden. Pettegrew and Co were awarded the contract which started in 1893. Flooding in February 1895 led to severe damage of the bridge, then still under construction, straining the resources of the contractor and the syndicate was dissolved, the NZASM taking over the contract. The bridge was redesigned and the superstructure raised between about 3,0m and the span increased by 30m. It consisted of four inverted steel truss girders spanning 30m each, manufactured by the Pletterij Den Haag of the Netherlands. One had plunged into the river during the flood and was repaired and repositioned in May 1895 by the contractor C van der Vlugt. Mowat and Still completed the contract. The bridge was extensively damaged on 28 September 1901 by the NZASM demolition team in the last phase of the Anglo-Boer War of the Boer retreat along the Eastern Line, repairs by the ROYAL ENGINEERS taking many months. (De Jong et al, 1988: 220)

All truncated references not fully cited below are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.

Writings about this entry

Bakker, Karel A, Clarke, Nicholas J & Fisher, Roger C. 2014. Eclectic ZA Wilhelmiens : A shared Dutch built heritage in South Africa. Pretoria: Visual Books. pg 121
De Jong, RC, Van der Waal, GM & Heydenrych, DH. 1988. NZASM 100 : 1887-1899, the buildings, steam engines and structures of the Netherlands South African Railway Company. Pretoria: C. Van Rensburg Publications on behalf of the Human Sciences Research Council. pg 220, 232