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THE GRAFTON BRIDGE.

- _ _-_- ■■.;•_." OFSHOTOr GEREMOITY. -—r - ft TA " ' .The Graf ton bridge, l>y waicn name . JmgejEfirrorCjmeiste "viaduct spanning the Cemetery, Gully between eymonds-street " and'Gratfton-road, has come to .be known, was officially taken over front the «intractors by PP c Mayor and councillors, on behalf of the city, and declared opefi for_j£affic._this afternoon. __ The bridge has already been open for "some weeks, 2nd has-been a great convenience, to imany residents of Graftonrjfoad and "tributary but.it was. thought seem-lj-_that_eome sort of c«emony should bo - Eeld -to -mark._the completion of so great .'a wort.: The ceremony was held this afternoon: and "the "auspices, so far as the weather . indicates them, could not "have been more favourable. The Mayor and councillors, accompanied by other gentlemen prominestly associated-with;" the control or the affairs of the city, notably Mr Artlrur M. Myers, drove to the eymonds-street end of the bridge, where a ribbon had been stretched across the thoroughfare of the bridge, to he severed when the brifige should be officially declared open for traffic. There was a considerable crowd of people present. <30NGRATUXATION5. - . • ■ .The Mayor and Town Councillors arrived promptly on time, and on arrival were met by the Grafton Bridge Committee, who presented to the Mayor, to receive on behalf of his predecessor in office, the councillors, and himself, an address of congratulation on the successful achievement of the~"wofk; - The -signatories-to the address realised -iha-t the gentlemen concerned in the undertaking had never viewed it in any . jehtow- parochial spirit, evidently realising- that-iii the near -future Auckland must expand- into a great metropolis. ; The bridge itself-was. 4n—their.x)pinipn,. a fine- strueiurei and She "luxurious gully o£ tree ferns and exotic scenery on the one side and the comprehensive view of oar 'Beautiful harbour " on the other .Jshould appeal to' the aesthetic tastes of "TeEefyohe' "wEb has "&' sense of fee beaufr - -ful. Congratulations, .were, due to the t:ontmg£flrel_and iihe designer, who had .. carried, .through a_ task of great magnitude, and one by no means free from yisk; -and Messrs Robertson and Moore ..._.,. .deserved., to. .have,.." tb.eir_ records "emblazoned high upon their handiwork. ."_. \TJhe .committee acecrded sincere . . Teangratulaiions, also, to Messrs •Bush and Wrigg, the city engineers, who " "w«re Responsible, to the city for the suitability of.3he _desjgn_ancj/the expert l ~~ . supervision of- the immense wort. -. ,:-.- •T : I[E;itiTOE'&M>DEISS. " /-Tie. Major '.(Mr C- IX Grey) acknowledged the congratulations of the com- ■-■ ~~ anittee, andv-went. on to.ispeak as.follows: —, .."The .object af..aur..meetjng here to-day is officially-jo take over from the, con--tractors, and to declare open for traffic, - . "iiie*.bridge..which is now before us, and vrhieh has ibeeh ejected to rephiee the old wooden—bridge-Twhich the -: . QemeEexy .Gully At a_much lower level, in "course of~time, owing to-t-h f Tir njrrggs. .of,. decay, became unsafe, .:"- , It waev de<Sidgd: .to a. reinfoxcedL jerro-conerete necessitated tie ob- —: ;iaJnJ3}g::of; iegishitive j>qwer^to cross-th? • ?T-Tcemeteiy, -which was-granted- by the Legislature in. 1905, and in April' of that' ■■ ;■■• ■ to boH-ow £30,000 was placed before--the - "18-tepayers-and-sanctioned by ihem. * ■ —rr -B -Tvss - noi s • -however, until the_ 4th. Jjilj:, I9Q^Jiat..th£_tendei.jaf_thfi.Ffiiro- . Concrete Company-of. Australasia for the vf - ereofioiT -of- "ffierbridga "for, thel sum of -.»..^£Sl^lß,-exelusisß.of iexbii%:and paying ■--- «5 foot'ways"ahd' paving, of .carriager'rcay, was accepted. The work _, seas commenced . .— ~ r — .I-lieLwhale-si-thje .working plans .were 1 '~pf6dtffied : 'iii"Auckland under: the super- - ot.-Mr-JC. F. .Moore, Vho, until November, 1909, occupied the position of ...., chief .engineefc.j.tfli -the. contractors, antr ~ -Ewiij "supervised, the ■ congtruetion until " -the "'sanre" date, ~since which- time the [work—has.-been,-completed under the rrsu'perjßjqn-Trf:... Mt-W. A. Robertson, .. -Jjeneral..manager ;of _.the_eompany. _Tie exhaustive tests which -have been made 1' : irip,?nable: the.: engineers, to certiiy to the ■ .strength -and; tire- satisfactory execution ipf_tle.j:on£taet_work iully .ensure the - - -seundsess -of-the design -and tshe general __«tabflity7ef-iSe sfcpictuie., . only give . access -'-. between, the eastern and the other-por- *-■- -iions-of -the*city,_bnt-3KriIL also serve-to -- come extehfas"-e v &efiibrial to' tie dead ■who have been interred "beneath" its sha- — .—«iuiv, mom. especially of those - troublous-days' of doivm their livis in-its ser'■"Tis&"""?pr;..ihat;.pjiip;ose _smtable tablets' , . " jhaTO oeen -placed - on- tie bridge in par"..jSp3s!§e. : of a,suggestipn' r which was made .:. ■ iby his Excellency- the Governor, co that passers-by may be_ continually reminded .. oi .tipsfi..who-did--wortby" and patriotic - Service in the "p-ist, .tmoTwho now-rest from "tSieir "laboursT" - -Bef6rb accepting —the -bridge from the contractors,. I wUI ask. my predecessor in office, Mr A. M. aiyers, in whose term comraenced, tn sppafr. to.-you .more at length - iipoh the otiemspects of the : .TKikVI have not.aiiuded. = SPEECH BY MR. A. M. MYERS. Mr. Myers accepted the Mayor's mvi - feifcibn,' and 'delivered- a, : short address. ','Kgives mc jTeat"pleasure to be present on ihlsZ auspicibiis and important occasion," said Mr ATyers. mc to say, on my first appearance in public -as "a. "private citizen, that I will never forget the.genejous_confidence extended to mc e A o w citizens when it wa3 my privilege to hold 4he"~ Mayoral office. Four yeaTS • ago, amongst many other important , niatters which claiiued the - atteniion of the members of- the City Council and myself, the question of bridging the gap from Symonds-street to Graf ton-road had to foe considered. It was necessary to have the old footbridge removed owing to its •pr-oving dangerous for future uae r and "the only "then .means, of getting, across thel was by-means of a temporary struc-1 tare erected quite at the bottom. Nninerous complaints were received, especially from residents living on the eastern '* " eide. - --'IWhen the .then engineer informed us .. that .if would cost £2000 for another footbridge, or £10,000 for a bridge 'higher -j -'uj.thehiHi-the question arose whether < she..tune had u O t arrived when, by- an "'-^PePditurvbf-a further sum of money. " of transifc aoross this huge : .SSno £^?t ,edllOt - tOSpeil<imOTe ' S°^ r^ : «> sawnit two guestiems to .the ratepay- \

- -firs»_viz = ,. to borrow -the gam of - £ 200 C for a footbridge for pedestrians • and likewise a propoaa! to 30,000 for the erection of a braffie bridge in. ferro-concrete. TJoth proposals were 'carried. "The responsibility, therefore, rested with the Couhcilj The life of a footbridge of tini- ' ~ber' would only be 16 or, at most, 2C years. _Such .. -a bridge to. cost £ 200 C ■would have to be at a very low level and not only would pedestrians have tc 1 "descend - one steep hill, but ascend a > similar one on the other side. • "The Council, having decided it would i be in the best interests of the community ■ to make this a complete scheme, in coni formity with "the other comprehensive ' schemes that were engaging our atten--1 tion, we -decided to invite tenders for . eitheT by steel or a concrete bridge, leav--1 "ing each tenderer to furnish his own . design. " Two tenders were submitted, one for steel and another for ferro-conerete : "After much consultation with the City Engineer (Mr. Bush), who proposed certain: important - improvements as to . raising tie .level, etc, we determined it woulcf be advisable to decide upon a ferro-eonerete bridge. As I ventured to remark' at the laying of the foundatlon--stone by -his Excellency fche Governor, i Lord Plunket, at marked an important step in the development .and progress of our city, a change imposed by the necessities of progressive enterprise. Now that iti is finished, I am glad to say there appears to be only one opinion in regard to the justification of the Council's action; nevertheless, you will fully realise how much we felt out responsibility before taking, such a. step. There were many who advised mc not to proceed with the bridge, as it was bound to be known as '.Myers* foilv. . Feeling aisujed, that the only risk the Council would incur was in connection with the' central "span, we therefore expressly stipulated with the contractors that no money was to be paid in connection therewith until it was completed and thoroughly tested. When tLis phase was satisfactorily arranged .we did not hesitate to do what we considered would prove in the best interest of the people By accepting the tender of the FerroConcrete. Company of .Australia. "The bridge will provide a convenient and safe road for vehicular and pedestrian traffic, shorter and more level khan at present exists getw.een the main business portion of tSie city and the south eastern -suburbs, as-well as the important outlying districts beyond them, giving a permanent road by ah easy grade from Ponsottby right through to Newmarket. Among, other obvious advantages, thi3 relieves the very congested traffic in Jihyber Jiass, and johsiates the necessity of spending a large amount of moneyto widen that road, at any rate for the I present. '"I have often wondered why contiguous local bodies hesitated, ta join the city and create a greater Auckland. They were evidently waiting for a union of east and -west, which has become so fully realised in the completion of this handsome structure. In passing, I -would like to further remark that the Council also decided that the time had arrived to close the Symonds-street cemeteries* ■and- -were successful in getting an Act through -Parliament proliibiting". further burials except to certain near relatives, which practically added another open space for use of the people.. In thw connection, I hope that the Council will see their way clear to negotiate for the purchase" of the land on 'file eastern side of-the-gully, so-that, the beautiful busi is for "all"time preserved for tihe people. -Where is there to be seen, practically in the heart of the city, such glorious scenery, as you. wall find-when looking over the bridge? Eeally, it should make every person who passes over the bridge a prouder and a better citizen. ; "I have now only to heartily congratulate all those responsible for the carrying out of this gigantic work upon "its-suc-cessful completion, -especially the designers- and- contractors, the Ferro-conerete Ctenpany-of. Australia, their staff and workmen. I should like,; also, to state that it" ; reflects-the highest credit on the City, Engineer. Mr. Tyler, thic if<jremanof works, has proved to be the right man for the .responsible position; there havfe been no serious accidents, and the "work lias been faithfully caried out. "It:is satisfactory to" think that prominent men from the South, after viewing the brfdgej convey, their congrainilatkrns on the magnificent-structure, showing, as it also .does, the confidence of t.ho citizens in the future of their city. 1 .venture to say that Auckland is destined to become the Garden City of the South-ern-Pacific, and is growing into a prosperous and a great city. We need "never 'be afraid t'p face a large outlay, if only wb are satisfied •thai the circumstances justify the expenditure, and we receive fair value, for the .amount expended. "In "conclusion, T desire again to congratulate the citizens upon possessing sUch'.W magnificent, useful structure, making, as it' does,, for the prosperity' and j health of the community. I venture to ', hope that. the .possession of -the -Grafton Bridge and the Town H-ail will «/•<■■ a< a powerful "stimulus to make us better comprehend- our civic duties, and to inspire the noblest ideals." A PRESENTATION. On behalf of the members of the XJraftoh Bridge Committee, Mr. C. D. .Grey (the Mayor) asked ..Mr.__ Arthur Myers to accept a souvenir of the occasion. .Addressing Mr. Myers, he said: "I have been asked by the Grafton Bridge Committee to request your acceptance of a slight token of their grateful and ..kindly feeling towards yourself for the keen and powerful interest which you, as Mayor and citizen, exercised in advancing the const ruction of the splendid structure upon which we now stand. It will always remain as a monument of ! the far-seeing municipal enterprise of j our civic administration, and while it exists your name in connection with the .beautiful bridge shall always be held in remembrance. Since your arrival,- Sir-, you have voiced opinions based upon travelled experience, that our Auckland City, with her great natural advantages, must at no distant date take a proud place in the cities of the South. Therefore, we believe that your suggestion to organise and set about a systematic method of improvement based, upon wisely . thought-out ■plans; is just what is needed, and should \ < be acted upon ' quickly. The Grafton • bridge will be ah anomaly unless it is i made a part of a skilful and comprehen- - sive scheme of advancement comprising '■ similar bridges and attractive thoroughfares. We feel assured from what you have said, both in public and privately, that you. will not fail us nor grow w.eary : ' in assisting your fellow citizens to.ac-l 1 complish the copious patriotic task ' which has been delineated." Mr. Myers thanked the Committee for their gift, and the Mayor for the i kind remarks he had made about him, ■ ' at the same time modestly disclaiming ] that he was entitled to any special de- J coration of thekihd. 1 (The souvenir was a gold medal en- ? graved on the one side with an image \ of the bridge, and on the other with I Mi-. Myers' name and suitable re- \ marks.) ■ " • . . •

► " .v.BBnJGE.pECLfAEED OPEN. ' _Q£r. Robertson, general manager of the Ferro-Conerete Company, then handed ■over the bridge to the city, on behalf of his Company, the contractors. He expressed appreciation of the kind manner ! in which the speakers had given the, full ' measure of praise to the Company for 1 . the successful carrying out of a very j large undertaking. The bridge was ' unique in having, the widest arch span in the -world which had up to the pre-sent-been constructed in ferro concrete. The design from an architectural point ; of view was bold, yet graceful, and the stability of the bridge had been proved by the severest tests. The citizens of Auckland had reason to feel jproud of such a handsome and everlasting monument to their enterprise, and to the pro--1 gressive policy followed by its city fathers, especially by Mr. Arthur Myers, as it was largely due to Ms indefatigable zeal in advocating the work that it had been finally undertaken. Mr. Robertson claimed credit for his own Company , and its staff of engineers. He also paid j a graceful tribute to Mr. W. E. Bush for his courtesy, his ability, and his un- , tiring energy, and to his foreman of works, Mr. J. Tyler, to whose geniality j. combined with undoubted ability, he attributed the" friendly relations existing between the* contractors and the engineers department. In conclusion, he said that he had I much pleasure in handing over the 1 bridge to the city, and he' asked the I Mayor to declare it open.for the public traffic. The act of severing the ribbon was performed by the Mayoress, Mrs. Grey, with a pair of silver scissors presented to her by Mr. W. E. Bush, the City Engineer. The Mayor and Councillors then drove across the bridge, followed by a ■ proportion of the assembled crowd.

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Bibliographic details

THE GRAFTON BRIDGE., Auckland Star, Volume XLI, Issue 100, 28 April 1910

Word Count
2,432

THE GRAFTON BRIDGE. Auckland Star, Volume XLI, Issue 100, 28 April 1910

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