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Edith Cavell Bridge
Edith Cavell Bridge Queenstown, New Zealand.jpg
November 2012 view of the Edith Cavell Bridge over the Shotover River
Coordinates 44°59′17.9″S 168°40′18.8″E / 44.988306°S 168.671889°E / -44.988306; 168.671889Coordinates: 44°59′17.9″S 168°40′18.8″E / 44.988306°S 168.671889°E / -44.988306; 168.671889
Carries road traffic
Crosses Shotover River
Locale near Queenstown, New Zealand
Named for Edith Cavell
Owner Queenstown-Lakes District
Heritage status Heritage New Zealand Category I
ID number 4371
Characteristics
Design Parabolic rib arch
Material Reinforced concrete
Number of spans one
History
Designer Frederick Furkert
Constructed by Steve Auburn
Construction begin 1 November 1917
Construction end 13 February 1919
Construction cost £8,000
Opened 13 February 1919

Edith Cavell Bridge is a bridge over the Shotover River in the Otago region in the South Island of New Zealand that stands at 47.8 metres (157 ft) tall. It is registered by Heritage New Zealand as a Category I heritage structure.

Location

Built at Arthurs Point, between Queenstown and Arrowtown, this single-lane bridge straddles the Shotover River. It is adjacent to the popular Shotover Jet tourist attraction and is often photographed.

Construction

The design was conceived by Frederick Furkert, the inspecting engineer of the Public Works Department, and is a parabolic rib arch truss design. This was the second bridge of this type in New Zealand, the first being the Grafton Bridge in Auckland. It was built from concrete and steel between 1 November 1917 and 13 February 1919 by Steve Aburn and cost over £8,000. In April 2016, the rock wall of the bridge was struck by a driver who lost control while braking, causing significant damage.

Name

The route improved by the bridge was a well travelled one by gold miners. One old miner, Jack (John) Clark, who lived in a sod hut overlooking the bridge, took it upon himself to name it "The Edith Cavell Bridge" in honour of the famous nurse, who had been executed during the First World War for helping wounded Allied soldiers escape from occupied Belgium. Clark's suggestion was not popular with the County council; the councillors wanted to name it Cooper's Crossing after the mayor of the time, Warren Cooper, but Clark painted "To Cavell Bridge" on a sign approaching the bridge and also "Edith Cavell Bridge" on the bridge itself. Eventually the name stuck.

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