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Last reviewed: Thu, 17 Jul 2014

The Bridge Of Remembrance

The Bridge Of Remembrance.

The bridge spans the Avon River at the end of Cashel Mall.

A stone bridge spanning the Avon River with a large ornate archway spanning the East end of the bridge. It is a War Memorial erected by the citizens of Christchurch to initially honour the sacrifice made during the 1914–1918 Great War, in 1923.

Canterbury earthquakes

The Bridge of Remembrance was structurally damaged in the 22 February 2011 earthquake, but inspections soon after suggested it was stable. There was no apparent worsening of the structure as a result of the aftershocks on 13 June 2011 and 23 December 2011.

From January to April 2012 tests were carried out to determine the ground conditions around the bridge abutments. This information is essential as part of the design process to develop the best permanent repair strategy for the Bridge. Options for permanently repairing the Bridge and Arch were investigated throughout 2012.

Bridge of Remembrance repairs progressing well

Bridge of Remembrance repair and strengthening work is progressing well as the City today marks Armistice Day with a service at 11am at Remembrance Park beside the historic site.

Transport and Greenspace Unit Manager John Mackie says, “This site carries a huge weight in the hearts and minds for residents of Christchurch and New Zealand, so it is good to see the repair work progressing. Getting this piece of infrastructure rebuild work repaired to the safest and strongest level is very important to us all and will be a fitting tribute to the memory of those who served in the New Zealand Armed Forces.”

Work that can be seen on-site presently is:

  • All the capping stones on the North parapet have been replaced.
  • On the south parapet all the stainless steel pins have been installed. Next step is replacing all the capping stones.
  • All the stonework surrounding the large crack in the northwest abutment has been removed for repair. Damage to the concrete interior of the abutment will be investigated and repaired, and once repaired, the outer stonework will be re-affixed.

As the repair work continues the history of the site presents contractors and engineers with plenty of challenges and unexpected findings. Work on the prospective strengthened pile sites has revealed a number of subterranean services including high voltage cables.

Contractor teams have also been surprised to find four layers of coal tar and kerbstones that was the original road surfaces used by cars back when cars drove under the Triumphal Arch.

Council contractors and service providers are working together to redirected such services, providing the best outcomes spaces for all parties throughout the repair and strengthening work to the Bridge of Remembrance site.

Mr Mackie says, “The Council recognises the significance of this site to all New Zealanders, we will be working closely with contractors to see if it is possible to have parts of the bridge open in some form for an event the commemoration of the 100-year anniversary of the beginning of World War 1 in August 2014.”

The Returned Services Association, RSA, are holding their Armistice Day Service at the adjacent Sergeant Henry Nicolas VC statue at Remembrance Park at 11am on Armistice Day, Monday 11 November. The service is in respect to all New Zealanders who lost their lives in both World Wars and all subsequent military conflict.

Visitor information is available at the site. You can download a copy of this here: short history of the Bridge of Remembrance [PDF 1MB]


Authorising Unit: Transport and Greenspace

Last reviewed: Thursday, 17 July 2014

Next review: Friday, 17 October 2014

Keywords: archway, avon river, bridge, remembrance, war memorial, war veterans