Wolffs Road Suspension Bridge

1077 Wolffs Road, West Eyreton

  • Wolffs Road Suspension Bridge.
    Copyright: Waimakariri District Council.
  • Wolffs Road Suspension Bridge.
    Copyright: Waimakariri District Council.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 7143 Date Entered 24th February 1994

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Extent of List Entry

Extent includes the land described as RS 37131 (CT CB491/216) and Pt RS 15417 (CT CB451/218), Canterbury Land District and the structure known as Wolffs Road Suspension Bridge spanning the Eyre River between those land parcels.

City/District Council

Waimakariri District

Region

Canterbury Region

Legal description

RS 37131 (CT CB491/216) and Pt RS 15417 (CT CB451/218), Canterbury Land District

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This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1993. This report includes text from the original Proposal for Classification considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

This is a wire rope suspension footbridge of orthodox Public Works Department design, that spans the Waimakariri River. It was designed in 1937 but construction was delayed by World War II and it was not built until 1948. Rudolf George Wolff was the builder and original owner of the bridge. The Wolff family were of some local significance, the ford and road being named after them.

The bridge played a prominent part during the 1951 flooding of the Waimakariri River when the top (Oxford) and bottom (Ohoka) car bridges were washed out and Wolffs Road suspension Footbridge was the only access across the river.

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Historical Narrative

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1993. The following text is from the N.Z Historic Places Trust Building Record form researched by Mr B S Kingsbury and included with the Proposal for Classification at the time of registration.

The Wolff family were of local significance in the area as the ford and road are both named after them.

Rudolph George Wolff purchased land on the north bank of the Waimakariri River on 19 July 1937 and according to RG Wolff's son John, the suspension footbridge was designed that year. Construction was delayed by World War II, commencing 1945 and continuing as time permitted until 1948.

In the flood of 1951, both the top (Oxford) and bottom (Ohoka) car bridges were washed out. This footbridge was the only access for people living on the south side of the river between View Hill and Manderville. Oxford provisions were brought across the bridge for View Hill people.

The Eyrewell Forest Camp Village, which at one time numbered c200 residents, used it for getting mail and provisions.

The bridge and land were given to the Eyre County Council by the Wolff family in 1978. At present (1992) the council are not maintaining the bridge and they do not want residents or people to use it because of its condition.

A car bridge was built on Poyntz Road, on the next ford downstream, in 1983.

Wolff's Road Suspension Bridge is an example of self help (Kiwi ingenuity) when the local authority was not in a position to do so.

Physical Description

Builder and owner: Rudolf George Wolff

Construction Dates

Designed
1937 -
Public Works design, plans checked by Prof. A Calvert of Canterbury College. Construction delayed by WWII

Original Construction
1945 - 1948
Style Suspension footbridge

Construction Details

Wire rope suspension bridge with four steel towers on concrete bases.

Materials; Timber, wire rope, steel, concrete

Other Information

A copy of the original report is available from the NZHPT Southern region office

Please note that entry on the New Zealand Heritage List/Rarangi Korero identifies only the heritage values of the property concerned, and should not be construed as advice on the state of the property, or as a comment of its soundness or safety, including in regard to earthquake risk, safety in the event of fire, or insanitary conditions.