Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Old Bridge of Katugastota.

River Mahaweli flows by the town of Katugastota, separating it from Kandy Town. The bridge over the river at this place connects the two towns. The other importance about this place is that it is the point where the borders of Ruhunu, Maya and Pihiti (the three ancient political divisions of Lanka) meet.

The old bridge of Katugastota was commissioned for the transportation of Sri Lanka on 1st of March 1860, during British colonial rule by Governor Henry Ward. It is said that the Governor had organized a dinner dance on the bridge that day.
On the right bank of Mahaweli. The old bridge (right) and the new (left).

This bridge was strengthened in its first reconstruction in 1905, and in the second reconstruction in 1939. The plaque erected for the 1939 reconstruction can be seen on the bridge even today.

The plaque on the old bridge.

The plaque says:

RECONSTRUCTED IN 1939
BY
THE GOVERNMENT FACTORY
OF THE
PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT
...
HON'BLE MAJOR J.L.KOTELAWALA
MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS & WORKS
KENNETH DE KRESTER
DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC WORKS
S.MAHADEVA
CHIEF ENGINEER
 G.C.ORAM
FACTORY ENGINEER

The new bridge of Katugastota was declared open by President Mahinda Rajapakse on 26th July 2009.

The old bridge is still used by pedestrians who like to avoid the traffic on the new bridge. The old bridge is a good place to take a leisure walk and have a look at the river because there's no more traffic over it now. St. Antony's College is situated right at the Kandy-end of the old bridge. Therefore sometimes a few vans or three-wheelers that belong to visitors of the College can be seen parked on it.

Evening on the old bridge Katugastota.

The old bridge looks tired and resting, while the new bridge keeps securely holding the heavy traffic over the Mahaweli.