Tuesday, December 9, 2008

One bridge and a half

These lions guarding the northern end of Thiru Vi Ka bridge were probably intended to direct people to the new bridge when it was opened in 1973. They have their brothers on the southern end, on the opposite side. That the lions are placed only on the side that traffic enters the bridge is why I think of them as bridge markers, drawing people into the new spur of road, which is what the bridge was 35 years ago.

Today it is the Adyar Bridge; the older Elphinstone bridge just to its east is broken in the middle and cannot even think of holding traffic any longer. It had served the city well, in the 133 years of its life. In 1846, just six years after construction was complete, one of the pillars of the Elphinstone Bridge was swept away by monsoon-fed current of the Adyar. The bridge continued its function without any readily apparent shortcomings.

We wish that the 'new' Thiru Vi Ka bridge remains for at least half the time that its predecessor did!


RiverMaker said...

I find it interesting that almost no one comments on the far sightedness with which the Thitu Vi Ka bridge was built. It is wide enough to handle the traffic demands of today.

Shantaram said...

@ RiverMaker: True; it must really have been a leap of faith!