Ganderbal: As a major breather for the commuters travelling on the Srinagar-Leh Highway, a two-lane steel arch truss bridge which would be first of its kind arch truss girder bridge in Ganderbal is almost complete and likely to be thrown open for traffic next month.
The unique bridge has come up over nallah Sindh on the Srinagar-Leh Highway near Wayil in Ganderbal district.
The construction of a permanent bridge over the nallah Sindh at Wayil would ease the traffic snarls due to which the commuters are facing inconvenience.
The present single-lane steel bridge over the nallah Sindh near Wayil connecting Srinagar with Ladakh is causing frequent traffic halts.
The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) had constructed the present single-lane bridge over two decades back after the old wooden bridge got damaged due to floods in 1992.
Tourists use this bridge to visit several famous destinations including Sonamarg, Naranag, and Amarnath shrine.
Besides, thousands of people travel on this route every day.
A few years back, the World Bank sanctioned the construction of this vital bridge.
The construction of this bridge was a long-pending demand of the locals as it is the only link connecting Srinagar with Leh.
Chief Engineer R&B Kashmir, Rafiq Ahmad told Greater Kashmir that the two-lane bridge had been approved at a cost of Rs 23.79 crore under the Jammu Tawi Flood Reconstruction Project (JTFRP).
He said that after completion, the bridge would be first-of-its-kind in Kashmir.
Rafiq said that the bridge had an arch-type steel girder with a good foundation design spanning 110 meters and a width of 10.50 meters while the length of the approach roads is 330 meters.
"The bridge is complete, however, some approach work from the Wayil side is pending and the work is going on. It will take a few more days to complete," he said.
Officials said that keeping in view the importance of this prestigious project, Principal Secretary R&B Shailender Kumar, was monitoring the work and getting regular reviews from the officials.
“There was a delay in the construction work as the material had to be made and transported from Ambala. In between, the COVID-19 situation and some other things affected its construction,” Executive Engineer R&B Ganderbal Tatheer Ahmad said.
He said that the work progressed at a fast pace in the last more than a year and the bridge was almost complete now.
Tatheer said that except for some work on the approach road on one side, the bridge was complete.
However, he said that the date of its inauguration had to be decided by the administration.