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ZAR Road Bridge over the Komati River (Grobler's Bridge)
Carolina district, Mpumalanga

DEPARTEMENT PUBLIEKE WERKEN - ZUID-AFRIKAANSCHE REPUBLIEK: Architect

Date:1897
Type:Bridge
Status:Extant

 


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Coordinates:
25°52'49.01" S 30°12'36.48" E

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Proclaimed a National Monument in 1955, devolved to a Provincial Heritage Resource in the Mpumalanga Province in 1999.

The road from Machadodorp to Carolina crosses the Komati River by means of Grobler's Bridge about 29 kilometres from Machadodorp. The bridge is called after Johannes Lodewikus Grobler who represented the Carolina district as a member of the Second Volksraad from 1895 to 1899. It was built in accordance with a resolution passed by the Executive Committee of the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek on 22nd January, 1896. The contractor was Johannes VAN WAART and the precise cost of the bridge was R23 491,68. The bridge was constructed after WIERDA, in his annual report for 1895, had argued strongly for building stone bridges, especially where exposures of rock offered firm foundations for the piers, since they would eliminate the need to import 'pre-fabricated steel bridges' from overseas. The authorities accepted this recommendation and immediately began to design and build stone bridges, and by 1898 five such bridges were already in use, the Grobler Bridge being one of these. The bridge consists of four 9 metre stone arches and has a total length of 41 metres. It was opened to traffic by J. L. Grobler in May, 1897.

While the bridge was being built, it was found that a bend in the river above it retarded the flow of water and constituted a danger to the bridge during floods, so the course of the river was diverted over a distance of 210 metres in order that the water should flow faster under the bridge. This work was done by a certain HA VAN DER MERWE.

The bridge fell into disuse when replaced by the nearby Stoltz Bridge in 1967.

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Wording on National Monument Plaque

DIE GROBLERBRUG

HIERDIE BRUG IS DEUR DIE STAATSINGENIEUR SYTZE WIERDA VAN DIE
DEPARTEMENT VAN OPENBARE WERKE VAN DIE ZUID-AFRIKAANSCHE
REPUBLIEK ONTWERP. DIT IS GEDURENDE 1896 DEUR J. VAN WAART OPGERIG.
DIE BRUG IS VERNOEM NA J. L. GROBLER WAT DIE CAROLINA -
KIESAFDELING VAN 1895 TOT 1899 IN DIE VOLKSRAAD
VERTEENWOORDIG HET. HY HET DIE BRUG AMPTELIJ IN MEI 1897 GEOPEN

VERKLAAR 1955 DECLARED

THIS BRIDGE WAS DESIGNED BY THE STATE ENGINEER SYTZE WIERDA
OF THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS OF THE ZUID-AFRIKAANSCHE
REPUBLIEK. IT WAS CONSTRUCTED IN 1896 BY J. VAN WAART AND
NAMED AFTER J. L. GROBLER, WHO REPRESENTED THE CAROLINA
CONSISTUENCY IN THE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY. HE OFFICIALLY OPENED
THE BRIDGE IN MAY 1897

RAAD VIR NASIONALE GEDENKWAARDIGHEDE
NATIONAL MONUMENTS COUNCIL

Provincial Heritage Site;5600;23/12/1955


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 97, 103
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 48, 50, 49 (photo)
Oberholster, JJ. 1972. The historical monuments of South Africa. Cape Town: Rembrandt Van Rijn Foundation for Culture at the request of the National Monuments Council. pg 330-331