Srinagar: After remaining closed for six consecutive days, the Srinagar-Jammu highway on Saturday was thrown open for traffic after the Bailey Bridge raised by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) made the strategic road link motorable.
“The Bridge was put to trail run at 2.45 PM and traffic was allowed to pass in a regulated manner after giving some final touches and verification,” Chief Engineer, BRO, Brigadier I K Jaggi said.
Officials said the 120-foot-long bridge can carry 40 tons of weight and the BRO deployed men and machinery that worked day and night despite the severe cold for the completion of its construction.
The traffic between the two capital cities of Jammu and Kashmir was suspended on January 10 as a portion of the road caved in near Kela Morh in Ramban, hours after the 270-km highway was opened. The road was closed for over a week owing to heavy snowfall and multiple landslides.
Brigadier Jaggi, who monitored the construction of the bridge, said that the 40 ton Bailey bridge was raised within 60 hours, well ahead of 72 hour deadline set by NHAI. He said the material for bridge was brought from different parts of Kashmir and Kishtwar district in as many as 30 trucks.
The Jammu-Srinagar highway remained closed for more than a week as the bridge at Kela Morh was blocked after one of its passways was damaged due to a landslide.
Following the damage, the BRO started the restoration operation of the bridge by constructing the Bailey bridge.
Meanwhile, a traffic department spokesperson said only the stranded vehicles, including trucks carrying essential commodities to Kashmir, were allowed to ply after the reopening of the highway.
"Subject to fair weather and better road conditions, one-way traffic shall be allowed from Srinagar towards Jammu on Sunday. No vehicle shall be allowed in the opposite direction," he said.
The traffic on the highway plies alternatively from Srinagar and Jammu owing to the ongoing work of a four-laning project. (With PTI inputs)
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