ZAR Road Bridge over the Vaal River (Begin der Lijn Bridge)
Sytze Wopkes WIERDA: Design Architect
Johannes VAN WAART: Contractor
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Kruger Bridge: Begin der Lijn Bridge
Proclaimed a National Monument in 1955, devolved to a Provincial Heritage Resourece in the Mpumalanga Province in 1999.
About midway between Ermelo and Amersfoort the road crosses the Vaal River by the Begin der Lijn bridge. The bridge owes its name to the fact that the old boundary line between the Transvaal and Swaziland began in that vicinity.
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 pillars, 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. This bridge was built in accordance with a resolution passed by the Executive Council of the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek on 5th June, 1896. The contractor was Leendert DE WAARD. The bridge is built of sandstone from the Vaal River and consists of ten 9,14 m arches resting on solid sandstone; the apex of each arch is 10,66 m above the foundations, and between high water mark and the apices of the arches there is an allowance of 3 metres. The bridge, which is 6,7 m wide, is the longest arched stone bridge in the Transvaal, measuring in all 124 m in length.
The Begin der Lijn bridge cost R35 426 to build. It was officially opened to traffic by Comdt.-Gen. Piet Joubert on 12th April, 1898.
Wording on Historical Monument plaque
PAUL KRUGER-BRUG: BEGIN DER LYN
All truncated references not fully cited below are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.
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