Maketawa Stream Bridge - 1926 and Ngatoro Stream Bridge - 1925

These bridges were built by Alois (Lou) Butler of Inglewood.

Taranaki's many streams from the mountain formed major problems for settlers and road-makers. The first bridges over the multitude of waterways were often wooden structures but by the 1920s they were decaying and in need of major maintenance. Reinforced concrete was the favoured material for replacement bridges and the new ones in the expanding countryside. Many of those concrete bridges remain on Taranaki's rural roads.

The first bridges over the Ngatoro and Maketawa Streams (along with the Manganui) were built in 1886-87 as the Tarata (Junction) Road was pushed eastwards towards Ngatimaru (Tarata & Pūrangi). These initial bridges were constructed of totara or rimu with maire braces but with piers of concrete. The largest, over the Manganui Stream, cost 800 pounds.

In November 1920, the Inglewood County was discussing the possibility of raising a loan to replace the wooden bridges with concrete ones.

NPDC files record that the Ngatoro Bridge was built in 1925 and the Maketawa in 1926. The present Manganui River bridge on Tarata Road was constructed in 1955.

On the stream-bank under the Ngatoro bridge, the fragmentary concrete remains of the dam for the Inglewood hydro-electric scheme (1904) may be found. The private power scheme was taken over by the Inglewood Borough in 1912 and operated as a feeder for the New Plymouth Borough Council.





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