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NZASM Eastern Line Bridge over the Dwaalheuvel Spruit - Bridge of Five Arches
Waterval Onder district, Mpumalanga

People:

NZASM: Nederlandsche Zuid-Afrikaansche Spoorweg-Maatschappij: Architect
WARREN and ROYCE: Contractor

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Date:1894
Type:Bridge
Status:Extant


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25°38'40.00" S 30°21'15.00" E
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A particularly fine stone structure, this bridge was originally built for the NZASM railway line between Pretoria and Lourenco Marques (now Maputo) in Mozambique.

(Richardson, 2001: 258)

Between Waterval-Onder and Waterval-Boven the rack-railway had to cross a deep ravine through which the Dwaalheuvel Spruit flows. A stone viaduct with five arches was constructed by WARREN & ROYCE (who had the contract for the rack-railway section) at this spot, hence the name 'Five-Arch Bridge'. During 1894 this viaduct was completed. When the new railway line on the northern side of the Elands Valley was opened in 1908, the viaduct was abandoned. During the 1920s the old track-bed between Waterval-Boven and Waterval-Onder was made into a dirt road, and the viaduct served admirably as a road bridge until the completion of the new national road in the 1970s.

The Five-Arch Bridge has been and still is regarded as a masterpiece of NZASM stonework. It was thus declared a national monument in 1963.

(Extracted and edited from De Jong, et al, 1988: 155)

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 120, 214
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 151, 195
Oberholster, JJ. 1972. The historical monuments of South Africa. Cape Town: Rembrandt Van Rijn Foundation for Culture at the request of the National Monuments Council. pg 335

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