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Matching murals on the Awatere Bridge

The new mural at the northern approach to the Awatere Bridge

When the Awatere Bridge was opened by Sir Joseph Ward on 10 October, 1902 more than 1500 people attended, the town of Starborough was renamed Seddon and a public holiday was declared in Blenheim.

There was no such fanfare when the Whale Trail completed another large mural last week, but we couldn’t be more pleased.  With support from local businesses, including Equus Industries, and funding from Pelorus Trust and Kiwi Rail we have created a second mural on the Awatere Bridge turning each end of the structure into a work of art. 

The light at the end of the tunnel? On the southern approach to the Awatere Bridge.

Signage about the history of the bridge is now underway, and riders can also look forward to seating, native plantings and a picnic table all planned in the near future to help celebrate this stunning road rail bridge

Back in 1902, constructing the bridge was a significant piece of engineering, with workers digging the foundations inside steel cylinders that were fed with pressurised air to keep the water from flooding in.   Work was conducted in half hour shifts and the men suffered blackouts, bleeding noses and the bends due to the effects of the compressed air.  Once built, this historic this bridge became a vital link on State Highway 1 for over more than a hundred years.

The Whale Trail is delighted to add another chapter to this historical piece of Marlborough infrastructure.


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