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Ince, J. A.
An Historic Bridge Lives On
First Australasian Conference on Engineering Heritage 1994: Old Ways in a New Land; Preprints of Papers
Institution of Engineers, Australia, Barton, Australian Capital Territory, 1994, pp. 45-49

Christchurch was established in 1850 when the first English settlers arrived in Lyttleton. By that time the Canterbury Company, which was responsible for founding the city, had decided the location of Christchurch and had surveyed the layout of the new city. The site on the eastern edge of the Canterbury Plains was close to Lyttleton but was beset with swamp and two small rivers. One of these, the Avon, ran through the centre of the city and its presence was to become a challenge to the citizens as they attempted to go about their daily business. Bridging the river was vital to providing access both within the boundaries and also to the hinterland from which Christchurch was to derive its wealth. The Victoria Bridge which is the subject of this paper was the first permanent bridge to be built by the pioneers and provided a vital link across the Avon River to the north west settlement of Papanui and farmland beyond.

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