The council has spoken up to assure Christchurch residents the Bridge of Remembrance will be preserved after it sustained heavy damage in the recent earthquakes. The Christchurch Returned and Services' Association, however, has expressed disappointment that a temporary steel structure won’t be put in place to allow pedestrians to walk over the bridge in time for Christchurch’s NZ Cup & Show Week in October.
The structure, a memorial dedicated to those who died in World War I, has been around since the 1920’s and in that time has become an iconic symbol for the city.
Mayor Bob Parker said the council is currently working through a concept and design process for a permanent solution to repairing the Bridge of Remembrance, as any temporary measures could further damage the bridge.
"We are very aware of the adverse impact on the heritage fabric of the Bridge of Remembrance that may result from any temporary reinforcing work placed on the arch."
Parker said the expense of the temporary steel bracing solution, estimated to be around half a million dollars, could not be justified in the bigger scheme of things and was "...counter-productive to the overall permanent solution to put a temporary solution in place at this stage".
“The Bridge of Remembrance has sustained serious damage and it will definitely cost big dollars to fix – we're likely to be talking millions of dollars."
Parker said the council is in discussions with the RSA about plans for restoring the bridge.