Stoush over twisted Chch bridge
Sat, 02 Feb 2013 6:08p.m.
By Jeff Hampton
Christchurch's famous twisted bridge, one of the symbols of the big February earthquake, will be moved because it's said to be a safety risk.
That's upset tourist operators and residents who think the Medway St Bridge should be kept as a monument. But others are happy to be rid of it.
Its twists are spectacular, demonstrating the power of the earthquake that struck Christchurch almost two-and-a-half years ago.
But time's running for people to marvel at the Medway St Bridge, which spans the Avon.
The city council has decided it's a health and safety risk and is having it removed. Not everyone's happy.
“It's really an iconic bridge in terms of the earthquake,” says bridge supporter Graeme Spinks. “It's frozen in time, bitter and twisted from the earthquake. A lot of the local residents who didn't want it are moving out.”
Mr Spinks represented New Zealand at the Olympics in judo. Now his opponent is the council, who he says is wiping away any reminders of the earthquakes. He says Christchurch has a memorial for the World Trade Centre, so why not its own earthquakes?
Tour operators agree.
“It's a must-get photo,” says tour operator Robin McCarthy. “Why would you want to take it away from here? It is an in-situ monument.”
“The two highlights we find tourists go home with are the Restart Mall and this bridge,” says tour operator Warwick Banks.
It's also ideal for TV live crosses and has been used as a meeting point for memorial services.
Some locals, though, feel removing the bridge will help them get over the earthquakes.
“Seeing the bridge in this state is a daily reminder of the devastation caused by the earthquake in this once beautiful, riverside suburb,” says Dallington resident Wendy Hawke.
The council insists it's a danger because people climb the safety fences.
So in a week, work will start to remove the bridge before it's transported to Ferrymead Historic Park, where it'll stay on dry land until a decision's finally made about its future.
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17/02/2013 3:39:58 a.m.
Philip Spinks wrote:
It's a keeper, an earner, an asset! Tourists love it! The problem is CCC being worried about people who want to touch the deformed steel, climb onto it! So what! If they fell, the Ccc could have made a viewing platform alongside parallel bridge or let natural law allow a few extroverts to fall in Avon ( the bridge was sound structurally safe from a load perspective )
4/02/2013 8:43:54 p.m.
No other landmark epitomises the force of nature as grafically as this bridge. The money spent to relocate it would be better allocated supplying people with a means to cross the river....This has become a problem as most of the pedestrain bridges have been removed.
3/02/2013 10:01:53 p.m.
Poorly designed & engineered, get rid of it
3/02/2013 4:41:23 p.m.
vicki barr-warren wrote:
well done Gerry, it's our bridge, tourist attraction or not, it should stay where it is...those who lived around here and some still do (like me) do not want it removed to some other touristy money making outfit for the joy of others at a price!!!!
3/02/2013 2:39:37 p.m.
Geraldine Radovanovich wrote:
4th Sept, 2010, 7.1. actually.
3/02/2013 2:34:21 p.m.
Actually you need to get your facts right. The bridge was twisted in the Sept 4th earthquake which was 7.1 in case you have forgotten. That was the big earthquake for that particular part of the city. Why do I know this. I lived around the corner. My house is now demolished. And on the morning if Sept 4 2011 my neighbor and I walked to the bridge and took photo's.
3/02/2013 1:07:37 p.m.
Graeme Spinks wrote:
1500 tourists from Christchurch tours have visited this bridge. It will be an earner for the tourists as a destination for years to come, it's an ASSET for Christchurch, and IMHO Crazy to shift this.
3/02/2013 12:59:58 p.m.
And once again the clowns at CCC show their complete ignorance. If you listened to the few whingers in this city nothing would be done, Oh that's right it's not is it because you listen to 2 people who voice their opinions and stop everything. Time Show Pony and his pet monkey showed some balls.
3/02/2013 11:01:37 a.m.
Another example of the non forward thinking of the powers that be in charge, after the world wars Europe, use damaged buildings and structures, but then again unlike NZ Europeans appricate history and what it means, sfety we have gone PC far to much in this country.
3/02/2013 10:56:50 a.m.
I'm with Wendy! y'all need a clean slate and build a city to be proud of.memorials are all well and good but they are for future generations. rip it out and put it somewhere pretty and get a new bridge.Time to stop weeping,christchurch.
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