Heathcote’s First Bridge Gets Replaced – 1964

Where Waltham Road crosses Eastern, Riverlaw and Fifield Terraces, you get the Wilsons Street Bridge. It proudly displays its Christchurch City Council plaque of being built in 1964.

What is largely unknown is that this crossing –or very close to it – was where the very first bridge was built over the Heathcote River. Originally just two felled Totara laying over the Opawaho (Heathcote River), the early surveyors were using it as late as 1848 and they called it Crawford’s Bridge after Charles Crawford who built it.

Crawford’s efforts were replaced in 1851 by the Canterbury Provincial Council. It was upgraded and repaired in 1862, 1881, 1891. Then in 1964, the bridge we know today was built.

For a more in depth look at Charles Crawford: http://www.peelingbackhistory.co.nz/crawfords-spur/

*image courtesy of Annette Bulovic*

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