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ZAR Road Bridge over the Spekboom River (Steenkamp Bridge)
Mashishing (Lydenburg) district, Mpumalanga

DEPARTEMENT PUBLIEKE WERKEN - ZUID-AFRIKAANSCHE REPUBLIEK: Architect
Mattheus Carel August MEISCHKE: Contractor

Date:1897
Type:Bridge
Status:Extant

 


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Coordinates:
25°00'33.72" S 30°30'00.73" E Alt: 1336m

11km from Lydenburg on the R36 North.

The Bridge is located on the farm 'Potloodspruit'. Its original construction comprised an steel arched structure with steel deck spanning 30m with a passage width of 7m. The sub-structure was built of hard 'blue-stone'. The bridge over the Spekboom river was taken into use on 27 June 1897 and was used until 1965 when it was replaced by the new road bridge. Two stone pillars originally supported the steel deck. The bridge was named after Helgard P. Steenkamp, member of the Executive Committee of the Volksraad and Commander of the Lydenburg Commando.

During the Second War of Independence (1899-1902) part of the steel deck was deliberately damaged by the Boer Commandos under General Ben Viljoen to hinder the British who had occupied Lydenburg in 1900, particularly in them reaching Pilgrims Rest where he had his headquarters. In 1903 it was replaced with stone by the PWD and renamed the Spekboom Bridge. It was declared a national monument in 1973 under its original historically correct name, Steenkamp's Bridge. sections of the original bridge found their way into the town of Lydenburg where for a while the railings served as barriers on the De Clerque Street Bridge, as barriers at the road closure of Viljoen Street, and some as part of a cattle crush on the farm 'Potloodspruit' where it stands.

[Information supplied by the Lydenburg Museum]


Writings about this entry

Bakker, Karel A, Clarke, Nicholas J & Fisher, Roger C. 2014. Eclectic ZA Wilhelmiens : A shared Dutch built heritage in South Africa. Pretoria: Visual Books. pg 104
Erasmus, Koos and Friebus, Hein. 2008. Vergete padbrûe van die ZAR : 'n oorsig van die padbrûe wat gebou en beplan is tydens die regering van die Zuid-Afrikaanse Republiek. Centurion: Koos Erasmus and Hein Friebus: . pg 52-54
Richardson, Deidré. 2001. Historic Sites of South Africa. Cape Town: Struik Publishers. pg 254