In 1981 the old Mangaweka viaduct was bypassed when the Mangaweka deviation opened. The new route involved three new viaducts. This is the south viaduct over the Rangitīkei River, just before its completion. The viaduct was built of five twin-shafted piers carrying pre-stressed concrete beams. At 78 metres high, and 315 metres long, the south Rangitīkei viaduct is the fourth-highest and the second-longest in New Zealand. A most interesting aspect of this viaduct is that it was the first use in the world of energy-absorbing dampers in the foundations of the piers. In the event of an earthquake, the piers will step from side to side but not collapse.
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