Thames, North Island New Zealand
Old 'Kopu' Bridge - Build in 1928
The original bridge was built in 1928, under the lead of the Main Highways Board after negotiations over its construction started in 1911, and planning begun in 1922. It was one of the largest such works of its time, with 23 spans and advanced deep piling for the soft ground of the river bed.
It replaced the barges and ferries which had until then served to cross the Waihou River, connected Thames to the newly drained dairy farming grounds of the Hauraki Plains and was reckoned to have made a big difference to the local district, having marked the local shift from river transport to road transport becoming dominant, and to Thames moving from a mining town towards a farming service community. It was also considered a project typical of the time and of New Zealand Prime Minister Gordon Coates quest to develop the rural economy.
Up to the 1960s, traffic used the passing bays, but after angry confrontations between motorists had become more common, lights were installed.Until that time, the bridge had still sometimes used for herding of livestock, but soon after the signalisation, further increasing traffic queues began causing calls for a replacement bridge.In late 2009, a webcam was installed to allow online checking of queue lengths during the holiday periods, a feature that in New Zealand had so far been limited to urban areas
New Kopu Bridge 2011
Top | Contact | Print