Over $350,000 allocated to restore centuries-old arch bridge

December 21, 2020 - 18:35

TEHRAN –A budget of 15 billion rials ($357,000 at the official rate of 42,000 rials) has been allocated to implement a restoration project on the Khatun Bridge, a centuries-old arched monument in Alborz province, provincial tourism chief has announced. 

A groove has been discovered in the northern part of the bridge by the cultural heritage experts, which increases the possibility of the bridge’s collapse, Fereydun Mohammadi said on Monday. 

Due to being in the winter and the possibility of increased rainfall, which could lead to more and serious damages to the historical monument, it is planned to undergo urgent restoration, the official added.  

Early December, the Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Minister Ali-Asghar Mounesan paid a visit to the damaged bridge and stressed the need to speed up emergency protection operations to prevent further destruction of the Khatun [“Girl”] Bridge and to provide the necessary conditions for the reconstruction and restoration of this historical monument.

“Emergency protection operations, proper coverage, and installation of warning signs should be carried out as soon as possible to save the lives of citizens…. and a suitable space should be created to prevent further destruction of the bridge.”

“This is a brick bridge, and despite proper and continuous maintenance, some part of it has collapsed and most of it is still standing,” he noted.

“Restoration of historic buildings has always been a continuous and permanent operation, and it is natural for such events to happen,” he explained.

The deck of the bridge was partly collapsed on December 4, reportedly may be due to recent rainfalls.

The foundation of the bridge was constructed during the Seljuk era (1037–1194) while its other sections were thoroughly renovated in the time of Safavids (1501–1736).

Arch bridges have been built since ancient times due to the easy accessibility of stone masonry, which is an appropriate material for sustaining compressive forces.

An arch bridge carries loads primarily by compression, which exerts on the foundation both vertical and horizontal forces. Arch foundations must therefore prevent both vertical settling and horizontal sliding. Despite the more complicated foundation design, the structure itself normally requires less material than a beam bridge of the same span.

ABU/AFM

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