Birchenough BridgeEdit profile
Birchenough Bridge is the name for both a bridge across the Save River (pronounced Sa've) and a village next to the bridge. Birchenough Bridge is located 62 km from Chipinge in the Manicaland province of Zimbabwe linking Mutare with Masvingo. The bridge was funded and planned by the Beit Trust, a foundation chaired at the time by Sir Henry Birchenough. It was completed in 1935. At a length of 1080 feet (329 m) it was the third longest single-arch suspension bridge in the world at the time. Ralph Freeman, the bridge's designer, was also the structural designer on the Sydney Harbour Bridge and consequently the two bridges bear a close resemblance, although Birchenough is only two-thirds as long as the Australian bridge.Ralph Freeman also designed the bridge over the Zambezi at Victoria Falls on the Zimbabwe/Zambian border. This design of bridge was tried out in Zimbabwe and when it proved to be successful, the Sydney Harbour Bridge was built. In the 1970s a 40-tonne load limit was imposed on the bridge but in 1984 the bridge was widened (roadway: 7.2 m to 10 m wide) and strengthened as part of the World Bank's Highway Project One. The village which sprang up next to the bridge has become the centre of a small-scale farming area. The bridge is widely considered by Zimbabweans as being one of the country's finest pieces of architecture, and as such, it appears on the twenty-cent coin.