ZAR Road Bridge over the Crocodile River, 'Schoeman's Bridge'
William Stapleton ROYCE: Contractor
The bridge was erected along the old transport road between Pretoria and Rustenburg across the Crocodile River on the farm Schoemansrus. It was originally planned as a single span of 12m. However seasonal damming of the river required that this be changed to two spans of 12m, later adapted to three spans of 12m. The superstructure of triangulated steel trusses was carried on two abutments and two regularly spaced piers. It was named the 'Schoemansbrug' at the opening ceremony. Severe flooding on 10 February 1893 washed away and severely damaged the superstructure, carrying pieces some 1,5 kilometres downstream, requiring that some of this be replaced with sections imported from Germany. JJ KIRKNESS was awarded the contract, the bridge supports were raised 1,5m and the works completed in 1894. When the Hartebeespoort Dam was constructed in 1917 the bridge was inundated. The steel superstructure was demolished and the bridge stone sub-structure submerged beneath the rising waters.
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