Claudelands Bridge is a dual-lane truss road bridge over the Waikato River, joining Claudelands with Hamilton Central. In 1968 it was converted from the old railway bridge, which had been completed about the end of July 1883. The road bridge was given a Category 2 listing in 1985.
Claudelands rail and road bridges.
|Carries||2 lanes of Claudelands Rd|
|Locale||Hamilton, New Zealand|
|Maintained by||Hamilton City Council|
|Preceded by||Victoria Bridge, Hamilton|
|Followed by||Whitiora Bridge|
|Total length||436 feet (133 m)|
|Height||103 feet (31 m) river bed to road|
|Longest span||132 feet (40 m)|
|No. of spans||5|
|Piers in water||2 x 3 (until 1906 2 x 2)|
|Clearance below||82 feet (25 m)|
|Designer||Office of John Blackett|
|Opened||1883 rail bridge, converted to road 1968|
|Daily traffic||2010 11900|
|Designated||5 September 1985|
Around 11,000 vehicles a day use the bridge. The bridge is the second busiest CBD route for cyclists, with 135 in peak hours in 2009 and a rising trend. To make the bridge safer for the 600 cyclists a day, sharrows are being added to the lane markings in 2019. Buses to Rototuna and route 11 cross the bridge.
A new railway bridge, opened on 19 September 1964, a few metres downstream, replaced the old with a 7-span, 143 m (469 ft) pre-stressed concrete box girder bridge. The spans are supported by reinforced concrete piers, resting on in-situ cast piles. The bridge, built by Wilkinson and Davies Construction Co Ltd (involved in a 1959 contract law case and deregistered in 1967), is about 20 ft (6.1 m) lower than the road bridge, being 18 m (59 ft) above the normal river level. It was the first bridge in the country to be stressed with a 100-ton Freyssinet cable.
Old railway bridge historyEdit
The bridge was designed in 1880 and the £5,519 contract let on 3 November 1881 to W. Sims. Although Sir George Grey turned the first sod of the railway extension at Claudelands in 1879, there seems to have been little publicity for that or the bridge, with only minimal mention in 1883. Ironwork for the bridge was reported as shipped in 1881.
Progress was very slow, so the contract was re-let to J. R. Stone on 18 September 1882 for £4,312 13s 6d, plus the £1,376 cost (the £5,688 total would now be equivalent to just under $1m) of the four cast cylinders from A & G Price. However, work stopped in November 1882, when it was realised the foundations were inadequate, requiring bracing of the cylinders and deepening of the foundations from 3 to 24 ft (7.3 m). The bridge was completed about the end of July 1883, but not used until the Hamilton-Morrinsville railway opened on 1 October 1884.
It was originally tested with a 117-ton load. To cope with greater loads, an extra cylinder was added to the original two on each side of the main channel, the 2 new cylinders being ordered from S Luke & Co for £2,354 in 1906, and the new deck from A & T Burt Ltd for £5,872 in 1907. Further strengthening was designed in 1934 to cope with the 135-ton K-Class locomotives.
There was pressure for a footbridge from before the railway was opened, A commission was appointed to investigate in 1906. With the widening and strengthening of the bridge, it was possible to build a footbridge in 1908, though there were complaints about the lack of lighting and cycling was banned. The footbridge was renewed in 1936.
There was soon also pressure to remove the railway from the centre of the CBD. In 1912 the Borough Council suggested the line could be lowered. A 1938 plan was stopped by war in 1939. The National Roads Board then promoted it and, in September 1959, the Ministry of Works started the scheme to put the railway in a tunnel and replace the old bridge with one at the tunnel level.
From 1970 to 1974 33kV cables were laid across the bridge. Further wiring was done in 1988.
- Abley Traffic Counts
- Traffic Flow Map 2018
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- Gilson, Chris (2005). Wiring up the Waikato. WEL Networks.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Claudelands Bridge.|
- 1908 widening
- 1909 footbridge
- 1920s train on bridge
- 1930 aerial photo of river and bridge
- 1947 aerial photo of river and bridge
- 1955 aerial photo of bridge and Hamilton station
- 1882-1984 Hamilton City Libraries photos of railway bridge
- 1961 pontoons in place for new bridge
- 1963 new bridge
- 1960s Claudelands Rd construction
- 1964-9 new and old bridges
- 1972 road and rail bridges
- Google street view