Kevin Cudby and Trevor Mitchell
A large timber arch bridge once crossed the wildWaikato River at Ongaroto, six kilometres west of
Atiamuri on State Highway One (Figure 1). The Ongarotobridge carried the Taupo Totara Timber Company’strains from the sawmills near Mokai to the timber-yard and government railway at Putaruru. Designed in 1904 by Wellington civil engineer James Fulton and built by John McLean and Sons, it was reputedly the Southern Hemisphere’s longest single-span timber bridge, with an effective span of 61 metres and an overall length of 79 metres.
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