Friday, October 31, 2008

The building of the Avondale Railway Bridge

The image above, taken 5 October this year, is of the present (second) bridge. The original wooden and concrete one was a great place to stop, and watch the trains arrive underneath your feet as they came in from Mt Albert, usually with their exhausts pumping up heaps of dark smoke and heat. They replaced the bridge in 1990.

Notes from the minutes Books of Avondale Road Board, 1911 to 1913 (held at Auckland City Archives).

16 August 1911
Railway Bridge at Avondale Station
The clerk was instructed to write to Mr. Jn Bollard MP referring to previous applications & ask him to see into the matter and advise the Board what steps to take to further obtaining the bridge over the railway.

20 September 1911
Bollard advises work on railway bridge under consideration when finance was available.

1 November 1911
Minister promises to get plans & specs prepared for reinforced concrete bridge at Avondale station.

11 June 1913
The Government to be urged to proceed with work on building the railway bridge.

18 June 1913
District engineer NZ Govt. Railways: department about to proceed with erection of Overhead Bridge at Station & asks for cross section of proposed approaches to be provided by the Board. Increase in width from 30 to 40 feet meant large increase in cost, asked if Board would pay additional sum required.

Resolved that department be informed that as Board provided approaches, could not pay for extra width. Bridge largely for use and convenience of rail passengers. Letter to Bollard asking for help on increased width.

16 July 1913
Work on Railway Bridge (30ft wide) to be started in 3 weeks.

5 November 1913
North pier of overhead Railway Bridge completed, Board’s work on approaches to commence.

22 April 1914
Railway Dept notifies that level crossing rendered unnecessary by Overhead Bridge now fenced across.

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