Pelorus Bridge

Last Modified: 19-2-2019 15:28

Pelorus Bridge
Pelorus Bridge

The Pelorus Bridge is one of several iconic bridges in, Marlborough, located on State Highway six between Blenheim and Nelson, within the Pelorus Bridge Scenic Reserve.

The first bridge over the Pelorus River (Te Hoiere), constructed by Thomas Wells was opened in 1860. This bridge only had the capacity for pedestrians and stock, and it was to be 25 years before the first bridge with the capacity for vehicles opened in 1885, built by Maddock and Stevenson. This bridge lasted until 18 March 1904, when heavy rain led to flooding which swept it away. A temporary pedestrian bridge was constructed, and a cage hung from cable was also used as means to get people and goods across the river until a new bridge was opened in 1905. This wooden bridge, built by Langlands and Co. served well for many years until increasingly heavy traffic and age took its toll, and the current single lane concrete and steel bridge replaced it in 1952. Initially, the new bridge did not have a dedicated pedestrian walkway, however concerns about safety, and the popularity of the bridge led to the addition of a pedestrian walkway attached on the east side of the bridge.

The bridge was the site of the first bungy jump in New Zealand, when Chris Sigglekow jumped from the bridge in 1979.

Reference: Ward, F. L. (1987) A History of the Pelorus Bridge Scenic Reserves 1865-1987. Blenheim, New Zealand: F. L. Ward

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