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At the meeting of the Geraldine County Council, held yesterday, the following letter on this subject was read : ■ • ■

Dunedin, 10th April, 1881.—To the Engineer in Charge, Middle Island.—The; 1 drivings of experimental trial piles has been completed, as far as-lean see * - necessity for doing it, - We.havea’ttemptgd- • to drive six of the wrought-iron piles im-r . potted by the Ashburton County Council, of which three have I enclose tracings of the section of the river at the proposed bridge extension,'showing the r ; two piles which we attempted ,to drive.. Pier was the first, and after, considerable trouble, is in the position shown in the ; r sketch. No. 1 pile wants 13 feet, and , broke off at bad weld while going one inch per blow with 25 cwt. monkey, 8 feet drop; No. 2, driven in place of No. 1 down to full depth, finished at tain, per blow; No. 3, about 13 feet, broke off clean; very bad iron indeed; 4kand 5, both down to full depth, drove (easily; After . the pier was sp far completed* i deter- * mined to try in another point in the river bed, in order to make the test more oomT plete, and at the same time gave most . particular instructions to keep it twitched up tight, in order to prevent it shattering. r The first raking pile in pier B drove stifijjr;: •. for the first 10,feet, going J inch per blow ; with a drop of . 6 feet, then 2 inches pec blow for the next 4 feet, thence 1 inch till . within 7feet of its position; when 13 feet in length broke off near tlje ground surface. This fracture is in the same position as the *' others, showing very bad iron and careless weld. As soon as this occurred I stopped the work, having come to the conclusion that it was useless attempting to drive any more, having broken three piles out of six. The piles were jdriven very fairly, and had the material been , good I believe no fracture could have occurred. They seem to be of mdat worthless iron, and badly welded at a • point 13ft from the top. lam extremely sorry that these Sin diamster wrought . iron piles have proved a failure, but * believe it to be entirely owing to the bad material of which they are composed ; at the same time I think their success is open to doubt, even if they had been perfectly sound.—H. P. Higginson. The Council drafted out the follow- . ing letter for despatch to the Minister of Public Works : To the Hon. the Minister of Public Works.—Sir, —ln reply to yours of June 2nd, informing the Council of the Rangitata traffic bridge having now been vested in tfie Ashburton County Conncil, we desire to submit for your reconsideration that it is somewhat arbitrary and unjust to adept this course at a moment when the mode of construction is under discussion, and when so very decided a variance of opinion exists on the point between the two Councils. The Geraldine County Council respectfully submits to you that the use of these solid iron piles is condemned by every competent authority connected, and if the Government is resolved to support the Ael}burt<m County Council, and to ignore the repeated protests which this Council has made, the Hon. Minister for Public Works must be understood to bear tfie responsibility pf the success or failure with the Ashburton County Coimcil. f We ahp beg to submit that since the Ashburton

County Council had no authority in the matter prior to the date of yours of June 2nd, both County Councils were evidently on a par in the matter, and deserve equal consideration at your hands. We would therefore suggest that a Commission of competent engineers should be authorised to prepare plans for this bridge extension,

to which wo should be perfectly willing to submit, but at present we are disposed to resist that which we regard as a deliberate waste of our resources.

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Bibliographic details

THE RANGITATA TRAFFIC BRIDGE., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 371, 15 June 1881

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THE RANGITATA TRAFFIC BRIDGE. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 371, 15 June 1881