The Red Bridge is the third bridge to span the Knysna River. It is situated further upstream on better founding conditions, as the previous bridge had been washed away in a flood in 1916. Designed by the PWD, this bridge is completely different in design to the earlier bridges with only two, long, 46m spans so as to prevent a recurrence of pier damage by flood debris.
Construction of the foundations started in 1918 with the steelwork for the two riveted deck trusses, made in England, arriving by ship in 1922.
The completed bridge, with a 3m wide roadway, was opened on 1 May 1923.
It was succeeded in 1955 by the wider, concrete (White) bridge situated further downstream, but remained in use by local traffic until 1973. It was completely refurbished in 2014.