Suspension bridge destroyed

The Sutton suspension bridge before the flood. Photos: ODT/Linda Marshall.
The Sutton suspension bridge before the flood. Photos: ODT/Linda Marshall.
The historic Sutton suspension bridge near Middlemarch has been destroyed by the flood.

Strath Taieri Community Board chairman Barry Williams said the extensive damage to the bridge, which opened in 1885, was "devastating".

The Sutton suspension bridge d after the flood.
The Sutton suspension bridge d after the flood.
The bridge had been restricted to five-tonne vehicles since mid-2015 because of its state of repair.

Repair work by the Dunedin City Council resulted in the bridge being able to take trucks weighing up to 19.5 tonnes from last month.

"It’s heart-breaking, just when you think you’ve got it back to normal."

Mr Williams said he would talk to the council today about the scaffolding left under the bridge and if it might have contributed to the bridge being destroyed.

The scaffolding could have caught debris floating down the swollen Taieri River.

"Someone should have put the scaffolding away ... there will be a lot of soul-searching and questions asked."

The bridge had heritage status and "must" be repaired, he said.

shawn.mcavinue@odt.co.nz

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