Buffeljachtsrivier Bridge Swellendam (Sugar Bridge)
Tuesday, August 16, 2016 - 14:57
Thread Categories: 
Endangered
2016 campaign nomination
2016 Top Ten Endangered Site
Thread Location: 
Western Cape
Swellendam
Local Champion: 
Swellendam Heritage Association
Local Champion Email: 

The Sugar Bridge has been in a state of neglect since damage by flooding. No / very little effort has been expended by Authorities to contain / re-instate damage. Catastrophic flooding could wash the bridge away.

A 9 Span Bridge constructed by the HiggoBrothers (who gave their name to Higgovale – the Site in Cape Town of  their Stone Quarry) to the Design of  Charles Michell who designed several other special structures (Cape Agulhas Light House, MouillePoint Lighthouse, Rondebosch Gaol, Naval Watertank in Simonstown, Saint John’s Bathurst, etc.) in the Cape Colony during his tenure as Surveyor-General + Engineer of  the Cape Colony) in 1852. The Bridge comprises Stone-clad Piers, Timber Joists (with Timber knee braces) + Timber Decking salvaged (at a cost of  £3.00) from a wreck in Gordon’s Bay and transported overland (at a cost of £1 000.00) to Swellendam for construction of the Bridge. It is said that molasses (grown in plantations between Swellendamand Malgas) was used as binding agent for the Gypsum Bedding + Grouting of the Stonework Cladding (hence the nickname of “Sugar Bridge”).

The bridge is believed to be the third oldest bridge of  historic significance in South Africa. 

Click here to view on google maps

Marcus Holmes

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