Victoria Bridge, Hamilton


Category
Engineering Work (eg road, bridge, sawmill, dam)

Description

Hamilton’s Victoria Bridge, also known as the Town Bridge, crosses the Waikato River and links central and east Hamilton. This steel plate girder deck arch bridge was completed in 1910.

Prominent New Zealand engineer, James Edward Fulton (1854-1928) designed the structure for the Hamilton Borough Council. Waddell and Harrington of Kansas City may have had some input as well, having just worked with Fulton on the Victoria Street Bridge in nearby Cambridge. Fulton was particularly known for his bridge work, including:
- the original Kelburn Viaduct, Wellington
- Lower Shotover Bridge, Central Otago.

Victoria Bridge was fabricated overseas and local contractor G. M. Fraser began erecting it in 1909. The structure has a central span of 103.6 metres (m), with flanking pairs of 12.3 and 12.2 m girder spans. Initially the width of the bridge was 7.6 m, including pedestrian access. In the 1990s the roadway was widened, encompassing the original footway, and new lanes for pedestrians were cantilevered at the sides. This addition has not compromised the pleasing appearance of the structure.


Heritage Recognition
The IPENZ Waikato-Bay of Plenty Branch commissioned a bench to commemorate the centenary of this structure in 2010.

This place has been recognised by Heritage New Zealand as a Category 1 historic place (List no.772):
Victoria Bridge:
New Zealand Heritage List/Rarangi Korero information (www.heritage.org.nz).


References:
‘A contractor’s troubles with a consulting engineer,’ Auckland Star, 4 November 1912, p.7

F. W. Furkert, Early New Zealand Engineers, Wellington, 1953

Geoffrey Thornton, Bridging the Gap: Early bridges in New Zealand, 1830 – 1939, Auckland, 2001


Attachments

No Attachments

Location

The bridge spans the Waikato River and is located in Bridge Street Hamilton, at the southern end of Victoria Street.



Region/s
Waikato

Access Info
The bridge is best viewed from the riverside walkways either side of the river. The IPENZ Centennial seat is located on the east bank to the north of the bridge.

Nature of Engineering
Infrastructure (incl. Road, water, ports)

 

IPENZ Victoria Bridge centenary bench, September 2010. Photograph by J. Dale

(Click image to enlarge )

Victoria Bridge, Hamilton, 2010. Photograph by J. Dale

(Click image to enlarge )

Traffic bridge over the Waikato River at Hamilton, circa 1910s. ID: 1/2-001350-G. Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand, must be obtained before any re-use of this image

(Click image to enlarge )

Lat: -37.7912 Long: 175.2899