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ZAR Road Bridge over the Vaal River (Begin der Lijn Bridge)
Ermelo district, Mpumalanga

DEPARTEMENT PUBLIEKE WERKEN - ZUID-AFRIKAANSCHE REPUBLIEK: Architect
Sytze Wopkes WIERDA: Design Architect
Johannes VAN WAART: Contractor

Date:1897
Type:Bridge
Status:Extant

 


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Coordinates:
26°46'12.3" S 29°55'22.2" E

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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.

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Wording on Historical Monument plaque

PAUL KRUGER-BRUG: BEGIN DER LYN
OP 12 APRIL 1898 IS HIERDIE BRUG
DEUR KOMMANDANT-GENERAAL PIET JOUBERT
EN MEVROU TOBIAS SMUTS GEOPEN.
DIE BRUG IS DEUR SYTZE WIERDA,
HOOF VAN PUBLIEKE WERKE VAN
DIE SUID AFRIKAANSE REPUBLIEK ONTWERP
EN DEUR JOHANNES VAN WAART GEBOU.
OPGERIG DEUR DIE HISTORIESE MONUMENTE KOMMISSIE.

PAUL KRUGER BRIDGE: BEGIN DER LYN
THIS BRIDGE WAS OPENED BY
COMMANDANT GENERAL PIET JOUBERT
AND MRS. TOBIAS SMUTS ON 12TH APRIL 1898,
THE BRIDGE WAS DESIGNED BY SYTZE WIERDA,
HEAD OF PUBLIC WORKS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN REPUBLIC
AND BUILT BY JOHANNES VAN WAART.
ERECTED BY THE HISTORICAL MONUMENTS COMMISSION.

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.


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, 107, 175, 211
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 54-55