Heritage Bridge becomes part of the West Coast Wilderness Trail

/News, Trail Updates

One of only three timber truss bridges remaining on the West Coast (Photo: Jackie Gurden)

The historic Mahinapua Creek Railway Bridge has been incorporated into the West Coast Wilderness Trail on the new piece of track that opened on Labour weekend.

This new off-road section crosses the Heritage New Zealand category-1 bridge, built in 1905 as part of the Hokitika to Ross railway at a cost of £1748. It was closed in 1980 and is one of only three wooden truss bridges remaining on the West Coast.

Canterbury/West Coast Conservation Architect Dave Margetts was involved in the project. ‘It’s great to see the bridge repurposed for adventure tourism and, while visually changed, the historic structure allows visitors to experience a magnificent example of engineered timber heritage,’ says Dave.

‘The challenge was to design a complying cycleway without damaging the heritage features of the bridge. This was achieved by designing the new timber cycleway so it is able to be removed at a future date leaving the historic timber bridge structure intact.’

Read more about the bridge on the Heritage New Zealand website, and if you want to ride this wonderful new section,  all you need to know is on the West Coast Wilderness Trail website.

[Source: Heritage New Zealand e-newsletter]