Transportation History

On New Zealand’s North Island, a new vehicular bridge spanning the Waikato River was opened. Victoria Bridge serves as a link between the town of Cambridge and a community that is now known as Leamington. Plans for a bridge at that location had been under development for several years. New Zealand surveyor and engineer James Edward Fulton was the chief engineer for this construction project; American engineer and bridge designer John Alexander Low Waddell served as a consultant.

This truss arch bridge — measuring 463 feet (141 meters) in length and 116 feet (35 meters) in height — was built with 20,000 rivets and more than 330 tons of steel. In addition, the bridge’s concrete pillars were made from Te Kuiti limestone, Cambridge sand, and both local and imported cement.

The debut of Victoria Bridge was greeted with widespread enthusiasm in the region. “Not since the establishment of railway communication…

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