When the day of the demolition of the David Livingstone Memorial Bridge arrived in May 1999, it was found after cutting the main supports that the contractors could not pull it fully down. The attempt was abandoned and the next day further acetylene burning tools arrived to weaken the bridge sufficiently into smaller sections for 2 heavy machines, one on either side of the river, pulling simultaneously on heavy cables attached to the main supports, to get the bridge finally down.
The current bridge, a third bridge in this location, officially opened on 18th October 1999 and appears to be of a more robust design, standing on the exact same site as the 2nd bridge.
The late historian, Neil Gordon had the pleasure of being the first pedestrian to cross the current David Livingstone Bridge whilst filming its construction. There were no side rails, which looking back was a dangerous thing to do, but Neil is quoted as saying, “I found it an exhilarating experience!”
From “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c) 2018