SRINAGAR: Traffic would soon ply over the old HabaKadal bridge here as the government has finally completed its restoration work, started two years ago.
Around two crore rupees have been spent over renovating this heritage bride that earlier was declared unsafe for the public movement.
“Some portions of the bridge had to be replaced afresh and among them were two main timber girders. We are presently laying the superstructure that is expected to be completed soon,” Imran Munshi who works as a deputy manager with Jammu and Kashmir Projects Construction Corporation told Kashmir Reader.
Imraan also admitted that project was delayed due to paucity of funds and lately due to floods.
To make the bridge last longer the wood has been coated with linseed oil, besides its superstructure will now have a well laid concrete with proper ducts to drain out excess waters.
The workers’ at the site told Kashmir Reader that most of the damage was done by the leaking water pipes, besides faulty drainage on the bridge.
Imran said it has been ensured that no seepages or leakages take places and for that purpose pipes and telecom lines have been shifted from the bridge.
The new bridge according to officials will have carriage way of 5.4 m besides two pedestrian ways of 1.5 m.
The officials said no heavy vehicles will be allowed to ply over the bridge.
Traders of the area while heaving a sigh of relief expressed hope that the renovation of the bridge will benefit their business.
“Our trade has come down and we are hopeful that once the bridge is thrown open for the public movement, it will have positive outcome,” one of the shopkeepers said.
The bridge was initially built by Habib Shah, Kashmir’s governor during the Mughal period in 1551 . The bridge later underwent several renovations with the last one taking place in 1950.
A new concrete bride was made adjacent to the site in 2001.