Hodges Bridge, located at the southwestern end of the kloof, was the first road bridge built in the spectacular Cogmans Kloof. It was opened in early 1872.
The bridge was named after Frederick Hodges, who was the resident magistrate in Robertson and chairman of the divisional council at the time. Mr Hodges was instrumental in obtaining funding for the construction of the bridge from the Cape government. The official opening ceremony, on January 10, 1872, was a momentous occasion. Residents of Ashton and Montagu, and even Robertson, turned out to witness Frederick Hodges, accompanied by an honour guard of 30 horsemen, declare the bridge open for public use.
Hodges Bridge actually consists of two bridges, or what are known today as culverts.
Each bridge, built with stone masonry, has a rectangular opening for the watercourse. The bridge decks (or roofs of the rectangular openings) were made of Yellowwood beams but have since been partially replaced and supported with reinforced concrete. On the bridge section nearest to Ashton the motto “Unity is strength” was inscribed and, on the other, the message “Welcome to Montagu over the Hodges Bridge” was written.
In 1877, five years after the opening of Hodges Bridge, Thomas Bain finished building the road through Cogmans Kloof, giving the residents of Montagu, and neighbouring areas of the Little Karoo, more direct access to the western parts of the Cape Colony. More information about Bain’s road construction is available on a similar sign, located close to the Cogmans Kloof tunnel. The road was re‑aligned in the 1950s, and the latest road reconstruction was undertaken between 2015 and 2021.