Historic Gloucester Street Bridge restored to its former glory
Dec 22, 2016
Cantabrians will welcome the return of a Christchurch icon in time for the Christmas break, with the reopening of the historic Gloucester Bridge. The Gothic bridge has carried traffic and pedestrians over the Avon River since 1886, but severe damage during the 2011 and 2012 earthquakes saw the bridge deemed unsafe for use.
Fletcher was engaged to undertake an 11 month, $3 million project to strengthen and repair the bridge, while retaining its unique character. The bridge reopened to traffic this week.
Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel and Nicky Wagner, the Associate Minister supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration, were thrilled to see the 130-year-old bridge open once again.
“It is wonderful to have one of the city’s treasured historic bridges restored and strengthened. It’s a beautiful heritage asset that we can all take pride in and enjoy. The completion of the repairs is another milestone in the recovery and the regeneration of the central city,’’ Ms Dalziel said.
It is wonderful to have one of the city’s treasured historic bridges restored and strengthened. It’s a beautiful heritage asset that we can all take pride in and enjoy.
Ms Wagner said the completion of repairs to the Gloucester St Bridge was another red-letter day for the regeneration of central Christchurch.
“The opening of this bridge comes hot on the heels of several brand new offices and shops opening their doors, bringing thousands of workers and economic activity back to the central city,’’ Ms Wagner said.
The bridge, near the new Convention Centre site, has been strengthened so it can carry normal heavy vehicles and is also more resilient to earthquakes. Its heritage cast iron features have been repaired and refurbished.
“The repair has been cleverly designed so that the bridge does not look any different than it did before and its heritage elements remain the striking feature.
The skeleton of the bridge has been strengthened with the addition of eight new steel beams which are hidden underneath a new reinforced concrete deck,’’ said SCIRT Executive General Manager Ian Campbell. “SCIRT is proud of the great job by its Fletcher delivery team restoring this historic asset for the people of Christchurch.”