Skip to content





Restoration of the Milnerton wooden bridge<span> <h2 class="sectHeading">​​​​​​​​​​About​​​​​​​</h2></span> <p>​Milnerton’s historic wooden bridge was restored and reopened as a pedestrian and cycling route in 2019. The surrounding landscape was also upgraded, transforming this landmark into a functional public space. </p><p> In 2015, the City’s Roads Department received grant funding from national government for the promotion of non-motorised transport. The City was obliged to restore the wooden bridge due to its heritage status, and included a cycling lane in the upgrades to encourage cyclists and pedestrians to use the space as an alternative means of accessing Woodbridge Island. </p><p>The bridge was closed in 1990 and re-opened to pedestrians after repairs were completed in 1995. In 2007, the bridge closed again due to its deteriorating condition. </p> <span> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:949px;" /></figure></span> <h2 class="sectHeading">​​​​​​​​​​Location and setting​​​​​​​</h2><p>Milnerton bridge provides access to Woodbridge Island across the Milnerton Lagoon. The lagoon forms part of the City's Table Bay Nature Reserve, and is situated towards the end reaches of the Diep River estuary. </p><p> The river and the lagoon are popular recreational areas for fishing, birding and canoeing; and the island features the Milnerton lighthouse. The 21 m high lighthouse was completed in March 1960, and boasts a revolving optic, which produces over 800 000 candelas of illumination. </p><p> This coastline has seen over 150 shipwrecks – more than any other coastline in South Africa. </p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:949px;" /></figure> <h2 class="sectHeading">​​​​​​​​​​History of the wooden bridge​​​​​​​</h2><p>In 1899 the South African War broke out between Great Britain and two Boer republics - Transvaal and the Orange Free State. In 1901, the Fortress Company of the Royal Engineers constructed the 120 m-long wooden bridge to provide British troops with military access to Woodbridge Island. </p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:1074px;" /></figure> <p>Milnerton bridge is the only one of its kind in South Africa. It was built of jarrah wood (Eucalyptus marginata), a hardwood from Western Australia, which is widely used in South Africa for railway sleepers.</p><p>South American Angelim Vermelho (Dinizia excelsa) or red stone wood was used to reconstruct the bridge. The restored structure includes a small percentage of timber from the original bridge and, except for the addition of a metal handrail to meet safety standards, the overall design is unchanged.</p><p>Restoration involved completely dismantling and rebuilding the bridge, with the existing piers surrounded by steel caissons. Much of the work took place in the water. Informative signage plinths have also been added on both ends of the bridge to provide context to the structure. </p> <span><figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"><img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:1044px;" /></figure></span> <h2 class="sectHeading">Timeline of the bridge and surrounds</h2><ul><li> <strong>1901</strong> Bridge constructed by Fortress Company of the Royal Engineers</li><li> <strong>1902</strong> Milnerton declared a suburb </li><li> <strong>1942 </strong>Extensive repairs to the deck following floods </li><li> <strong>1949</strong> Reconstruction of piles at watermark </li><li> <strong>1972</strong> Structural repairs to piles and supports </li><li> <strong>1984</strong> Closed to vehicles </li><li> <strong>1987</strong> Declared a National Monument </li><li> <strong>1990</strong> Closed for repairs </li><li> <strong>1995 </strong>Reopened to pedestrians </li><li> <strong>2007</strong> Closed for safety reasons </li><li> <strong>2018</strong> Restoration of the bridge started by the City of Cape Town </li><li> <strong>2019 </strong>Completion of the restoration and reconstruction </li></ul><h2 class="sectHeading">Contact us</h2><p>If you have any questions about the restoration of the Milnerton wooden bridge, contact our main representative: </p><h4>Margot van Heerden, Project Manager, Environmental Management Department</h4><p> <em>Telephone:<br><a>021 487 2003</a><br><br> Email:<br><a href=""></a> </em></p>GP0|#5667c4e0-92ae-486f-977c-abc944637b2f;L0|#05667c4e0-92ae-486f-977c-abc944637b2f|Restoration of the Milnerton wooden bridge;GTSet|#dc1a8a1b-0357-45bc-b768-7d9a89c8ef94;GPP|#9c5fe12f-5958-47f0-8a74-9e491a80d61a;GPP|#01c7dd08-6ba3-4ae5-86c1-37cf07e8323e;GPP|#659228ce-7f43-4fe6-8efe-ddeb2a010e91Milnerton’s historic wooden bridge was restored and reopened as a pedestrian and cycling route in 2019. 0





You have disabled JavaScript on your browser.
Please enable it in order to use City online applications.