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Published:  2015-04-11 Views:  1997
Author:  Fanie
Published in:  Harties Heritage/Erfenis
Yster Brug Oor Die Magalies Rivier

HOEV: OPNAME VAN BESIENSWAARDIGHEDE                  Nr 013

HEHA: SURVEY OF HERITAGE SITES                                     No 013

 

YSTERBRUG OOR MAGALIESRIVIER (OOK DIE “BLOU BRUG” GENOEM)

DATUM +- 1927

SAEA BESKERMING (60jr) ja

VERKLAAR nee. GELYS nee

GPS data:X 27.46.09 Y –25.46.29

SCHEERPOORT 477JQ.

PAD P 123-1.

 

Sytse Wopkes Wierda, die Staatingenieur en Argitek van die Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek (ZAR) het in 1891 ‘n brug oor die Krokodilrivier laat oprig. Die brug het drie spanne van 40 voet (13m) elk gehad en was op die plaas van Gnl Hendrik Schoeman, “Schoemansrust” (kyk 082). Dit is net suid van Schoemansville of wes van Ifafi en lê nou onder die water. Die brug is volgens die staatskoerant, die “Schoemanbrug” genoem. Dit is op 8 September 1891 oopgestel.

 

Op 22 September 1891 verskyn ‘n kort berig in die koerant, “LAND EN VOLK”, wat lui: “DE PRESIDENT TE KROKODILRIVIER. Zaterdag morgen vroeg besoekt de President de Krokodilrivier brug van drie span die nu net klaar is. De President is heel tevreden met de bovenbouw, maar het ligt nog een bietjie lag naar zijn sin, als de water weer zoo hoog opgaan als voorleden somer. ZHEd heft dus gelast dat de rivier bedding waar rotslagen en klippen in voorkomen met dynamite op te blazen die dan de rivier vier voet dieper……..” Paul Kruger se persoonlike belangstelling en blykbaar sy kennis van die geweld van die rivier in vloed is nogal merkwaardig asook sy praktiese voorstel om dan maar die bodem van die rivier te laat sak. Hy was moontlik ook besorg dat die nuwe Staatsingenieur uit Friesland nie bekend is met die Suid-Afrikaanse toestande nie temeer daar in die vorige jaar ‘n oorstroming was wat van die onderbou beskadig het. In die jare 1890 en 1891 was daar in die Transvaal geweldige oorstromings en die ergste sou nog kom:

 

Volgens ene August Behrens wat teen einde April 1893 daar deurgetrek het, was daar ‘n groot vloed in die nag waartydens die brug weggespoel het. Ons het egter geen bevestiging hiervan in enige van die koerante van die tyd gevind nie. Dit is dus moontlik dat die brug net beskadig is en nie werklik weggespoel nie.

 

Met die bou van die Hartbeespoortdam in 1921-1924 is alle geboue en strukture wat onder water sou val afgebreek. Indien daar dus nog, of weer ‘n brug was, sou dit ook afgebreek geword het. Kort daarna is hier in die omgewing drie brûe gebou wat almal van soortgelyke konstruksie is as wat Wierda se brûe meestal was. Die brûe is oor die Magaliesrivier, oor die Krokodilrivier (kyk 027) en die treinbrug by Meerhof (kyk 049). Die moontlikheid bestaan dat van die materiaal van die Schoemanbrug hiervoor gebruik is. Verdere navorsing is egter nodig om die stelling te bewys of te weerlê.

 

 

 

Die brug oor die Magaliesrivier is om en by 1927 gebou en is vanaf 1981, toe ‘n nuwe betonbrug verder oos gebou is in onbruik. Dit bestaan uit twee spanne van 33m elk. Dit was aanvanklik vaal-blou geverf en daarvan sy naam. Die wydte is net genoeg vir een voertuig op ‘n keer.  Dit het menige botsing tot gevolg gehad waarvoor die gebuigde tralies nou nog bewys lewer. Oor die jare is daar heelwat aan die brug herstel.

 

 

IRON BRIDGE OVER MAGALIES RIVER (ALSO KNOWN AS THE “BLUE BRIDGE”)

DATE +-1927

SAHRA PROTECTION (60yr) yes

DECLARED MONUMENT: no. LISTED: no

GPS data: X 27.46.09 Y –25.46.29

SCHEERPOORT 477JQ.

ROAD P 123-1.

 

In 1891 the Chief Engineer and Architect of the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek (ZAR), mr Sytste Wopkes Wierda, had a bridge built over the Crocodile River. This was on the site of Genl Hendrik Schoeman’s farm, Schoemansrust (see 082). That would have placed it just south of the present Schoemansville or west of Ifafi on the old wagon road. The bridge was named the “Schoeman Bridge” according to the government gazette of the day. It was constructed of three spans of 40 feet (13m) each. The bridge was opened on 8th September 1891.

 

On 22 September 1891 there was a short article in the newspaper, “LAND EN VOLK”, which read: “DE PRESIDENT TE KROKODILRIVIER. Zaterdag morgen vroeg besoekt de President de Krokodilrivier brug van drie span die nu net klaar is. De President is heel tevreden met de bovenbouw, maar het ligt nog een bietjie lag naar zijn sin, als de water weer zoo hoog opgaan als voorleden somer. ZHEd heft dus gelast dat de rivier bedding waar rotslagen en klippen in voorkomen met dynamite op te blazen die dan de rivier vier voet dieper……..” Paul Kruger’s personal attention to detail and local knowledge of the might of floods and his practical recommendations are remarkable. Obviously he was also worried that his newly imported Staatsingenieur from Friesland was not quite prepared for the floods of the Transvaal because in the previous year floods damaged some of the foundation work on other bridges. The years jare 1890 and 1891 saw extraordinary floods, but worst was still to come in 1893:

 

Disaster struck two years later when a certain August Behrens recorded a massive flood which swept this bridge away in April 1893. we did however not find any official mentioning of this disaster, so it might be that the bridge was only damaged and later repaired.

 

When Hartbeespoort Dam was being built (1921-1924), all structures, which would be flooded subsequently by the waters of the rising dam, were demolished. Any bridges, whether original or re-built would therefore also have been demolished. After the dam’s completion, three new bridges were built. These are the bridges over the Magalies River, the Crocodile River (see 027) and the train bridge at Meerhof (048). There is a distinct possibility that material from the original “Schoeman Bridge” was re-used for these bridges. Further research is, however, necessary to refute or substantiate these claims.

 

 

 

 

Disaster struck two years later when a certain August Behrens recorded a massive flood which swept this bridge away in April 1893. It is not known whether the bridge was re-built or what became of its parts.

 

When Hartbeespoort Dam was being built (1921-1924), all structures, which would be flooded subsequently by the waters of the rising dam, were demolished. Any bridges, whether original or re-built would therefore also have been demolished. After the dam’s completion, three new bridges were built. These are the bridges over the Magalies River, the Crocodile River (see 027) and the train bridge at Meerhof (048). There is a distinct possibility that material from the original “Schoeman Bridge” was re-used for these bridges. Further research is, however, necessary to refute or substantiate these claims.

 

The bridge over the Magalies River was built round about 1927. Originally it was painted in a blue colour from which it got its name as the “Blue Bridge”. The width was sufficient only for one vehicle at a time, and motorized traffic had to wait until the coast was clean to cross the bridge. Testimony to the fact that not everyone waited patiently is evident in the bent railings still visible on the sides as a result of collisions!

 

The bridge had to be repaired time and again till it was replaced by a concrete bridge, wide enough for two lanes of traffic in 1981. The old bridge was left as a monument of yesteryears engineering.

 

 

 

 

Die brug in 2002. Let op die oorspronklike klinknaelkonstruksie en die latere verstewigings wat bo gasgebout is.                                                                    

 

The bridge in 2002. Note the original rivet construction and the added reinforcements bolted to the top rail.

 

 

 

 

 


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