The South African Institution Of Civil Engineering

The Way to the Bridge (An overview on the historic drifts, bridges and roads of the Free State)


Year Published: 2020

Author: Nicol van der Walt

Publisher: The Heritage Foundation

ISBN Number: 978-0-9947175-2-8

Price: R 230.00 Incl. VAT

Weight: 500g

Summary: In The Way to the Bridge Nicol van der Walt provides an historic overview of the drifts, bridges and some roads built in the Free State, going back approximately 150 years. The research the author has carried out in documenting and describing the construction of more than 100 old bridges built using rudimentary methods, judged by today’s standards, to cross the generally slow-moving westerly flowing rivers traversing the province is impressive. Of particular interest is the description, together with photos and illustrations, of bridges built to cross the major rivers, i.e. the Gariep (Orange) and Vaal Rivers forming the southern and northern borders of the province, respectively, as well as the challenging road conditions along its eastern mountainous border with Lesotho and KwaZulu-Natal. The bridge structures the author describes range from submersible drifts to major steel truss bridges built between 1880 and the late 1930s using imported steel trusses placed on masonry abutments and piers. Forty-four steel bridges out of a total of 77 built during this period are still in use today, most of them now showing their age.

Stock Code: TD/SAI/TWTTB

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