Archiver > SOUTH-AFRICA-EASTERN-CAPE > 2005-10 > 1129497540

From: "Becky Horne" <>
Subject: Henry Putt Bridge, Port Alfred - Part II
Date: Sun, 16 Oct 2005 23:19:00 +0200

The Henry PUTT Bridge, Port Alfred.
by Mr. M. D. HALL

Continued from Part I.

By the mid-1920's traffic had increased and the bridge had deteriorated
to some extent so that loads had to be restricted. It was therefore
decided to construct a new double carriageway bridge of the same span
immediately downstream of the Henry Putt bridge. This bridge was
completed in 1928 and is still in use today while the Henry Putt bridge
is used only for pedestrian traffic.

The bridge is almost 2 km from the sea but on the seaward side the
concrete has been badly affected by corrosion of the reinforcing steel
and most of the steel is exposed. It is possible that the concrete was
not very dense but the main cause of the
damage is that the cover is only about 10 mm thick in places. Attempts
have been made to repair the piers by casting blocks of concrete around
the affected sections so as to increase the cover to 50 mm, but this
additional cover has also spalled off due to continuing corrosion of the

The lesson of the Henry Putt bridge was not lost upon the designer of
the replacement bridge as this bridge, which was built more than 50
years ago, shows no sign of damage due to corrosion.

An inscription on the foundation stone of the Henry Putt bridge
indicates that the bridge was designed by the Department of Public Works
under the supervision of Mr. F. W. WALDRON, AMICE, and that the Chief
Engineer was Mr. W. CRAIG, AMICE.

The contractors were Messrs KNIGHT and FOLKESTAD and the Clerk of Works,
Mr. W. PURSE. It was Mr. WALDRON's last job for the Cape Government
before he retired from the service and entered into private practice in
Cape Town.

The bridge, which took two years and one week to construct, cost £6 400
and supervision a further £450. This was apparently considered a very
low cost as, to quote once more from Mr. DE VILLIERS GRAAFF's remarks on
reinforced concrete: 'We might be allowed to draw attention to the
advantages and suitability for its adoption elsewhere throughout the
Colony on account of its cheapness (only 2/3 of the cost of an iron
structure), durability and graceful appearance.'

SOURCE: Looking Back, December 1982
More to follow.

Best wishes

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