Taipo River Bridge Piers

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


The first Taipo River Bridge on the West Coast of the South Island was constructed in the 1860s. However, this was subsequently destroyed in a flood and a replacement structure was built in 1886. The rail bridge consisted of timber trusses and concrete filled cast iron cylinder piers.

The only remnants of this bridge, designed by Francis William Martin, the Public Works Department’s Resident Engineer based in Greymouth, are two sets of its piers. Unusually, these piers were integrated into the present steel plate girder road bridge.

Heritage recognition
This item of New Zealand’s engineering heritage has been recognised by IPENZ with a plaque.

G. Thornton, Bridging the Gap: Early bridges in New Zealand, 1830-1939, Auckland, 2001, pp.98, 100


Taipo River Bridge Piers (G. Thornton).pdf


13 kilometres west of Jacksons on State Highway 73

West Coast/Buller

Access Info

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


Taipo River Bridge plaque

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Taipo River Bridge Piers, 1993. Geoffrey Thornton Photographic Collection, IPENZ

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Taipo River Bridge, November 2014. IPENZ

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Lat: -42.7549 Long: 171.4024