Opiki toll bridge: graceful relic of a thriving flax industry

A day after posting a guest post on the haunted bridge in New Zealand, the blogger referred me to another bridge that is of interest. It was built a century ago and served as a toll bridge until it was replaced by another toll bridge in 1969. The suspension bridge still stands today but as a relict, yet its history is worth reading as much as visiting it. Details here. Enjoy! 🙂

envirohistory NZ

When driving north along State Highway 56 through the low-lying plains flanking the Manawatu River, a traveller cannot help but notice a suspension bridge to the north of the current road, a tall industrial chimney incongruously positioned at the western end of its span [click here to view map]. Now, its suspension wires dangle without purpose, as if suspended in time as well as space, but this graceful structure still strikes a dignified – if somewhat ghostly profile – on the landscape, hinting at an important role it played in the local economy in the not too distant past.

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