The Van Staden’s River gorge road bridges

Van Standen's Groge with the arch bridge crossing it The Van Staden's River west of Port Elizabeth is the boundary of the Nelson Mandela Bay metro and a major landmark in the area. Most people cross the gorge on the N2 in a couple of seconds using the arch bridge while others take their time and drive through the old pass. But where does the name Van Staden's come from and when were the different bridges built? The arch bridge,…

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The Van Stadens Bridges

The Van Stadens River is about 35km west of Port Elizabeth and you can either go over or through it to get to the other side. The river and original pass was named after one of the area’s pioneer farmers, Marthinus van Staden, who was the first person to plot a basic route through the Van Stadens River Gorge in the 1850’s.  In 1867 Thomas Bain was brought in by the Cape Government to rebuild the pass so that ox wagon traffic could…

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Underneath the bridge

A couple of years ago I got to walk underneath the Van Stadens Bridge for the first time while following one of the trails in the Van Stadens Wildflower Reserve in search of a Geocache.  A couple of days ago I saw a friend post a similar picture and I decided to go and dig this photo out to post again.  Not the usual view of the bridge, is it? 

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Van Stadens Wildflower Reserve bridge view

When you're walking along the trails in the Van Stadens Wildflower Reserve you get to see glimpses and different angles of the Van Stadens Bridge all the time.  The bridge, over which the N2 highway crosses, was opened on 11 November 1971.  The bridge used to be a notorious suicide spot until barriers were set up all along the side of the bridge a couple of years ago. 

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Spotlight on the Mackay Bridge

The Colchester area east of Port Elizabeth was a very busy spot in the mid 1800 and early 1900s, as it had the only pont over the Sundays River on the main road between Port Elizabeth and Grahamstown. The original pont was washed away in 1874 and a second one in 1875. A bridge was commissioned in 1884 and opened on 5th March 1895. It was called the Mackay Bidge, in honour of John Mackay who's efforts resulted in its…

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Flashback to the Apple Express

I received this breathtaking picture of the Apple Express crossing over the Van Stadens Railway Bridge, the highest narrow gauge railway bridge in the world, from fellow Geocacher Graham Chrich yesterday.  Graham was in the Van Stadens area for the Rhino Run last weekend and decided to do a couple of Geocaches located in the area.  Looking for info on the gorge he came across a post of mine about the railway bridge and it reminded him of a trip…

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