The Otira Gorge Viaduct

skyhorse

Melbourne, Australia

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Travelling from Christchurch to Greymouth (South Island, New Zealand) there are 3 routes to follow & to my mind this is the only way to go. This is a view of the new, safer section of road through the Otira viaduct, replacing the old highway section of narrow, winding roads. to see the original road, please cut & paste to follow this link

http://www.slv.vic.gov.au/pictoria/a/1/4/doc/a1...

For older postcard shots, visit the next link – bear in mind when viewing these that my father had vivid memories of trips over this road in those coaches!

http://www.jeffpylenz.com/Jeffs-blog/WEB/FGR-OT...

My own earliest memory of this road goes back to 1968-1969, we were towing a single horsefloat behind the family car, a Zephyr Mark IV to campaign our harness trotter “Stan” at a race meeting in Westport – sadly I don’t recall Stan’s racing name, he was moderately successful.

Climbing out of the county of Canterbury on the eastern coast, Highway 73 traverses the mountain saddle & climbs over the pass to descend towards the Otira viaduct, heading for the settlement of Otira set in a narrow valley on the western side of a the Southern Alps. Descending down the slopes of Mount Rolleston through Arthur’s Pass National Park, the highway follows the path of the Otira River through the famous Otira Gorge and down to the West Coast.

The Otira Viaduct is one of the most ambitious recent engineering projects in New Zealand, with construction on the viaduct beginning in 1997. At a height of 35m and 440m long, it is gracefully curved to fit in with the surroundings. Great care was taken to minimize damage to the surrounding area of National Park. The region is prone to earthquakes and the viaduct is built to standards 40% more stringent than those usually used for the region. The Otira railway tunnel passes under this problem zone and is the longest in New Zealand (8.6 km).

Artwork Comments

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