From the event

16 Oct 2007

PR# 2007-678

New bridge in Teshkan connects Afghanistan

A new, 25 meter long metal bridge opened recently in Teshkan district after two months of construction. The new bridge is a vital part of Highway 302, the only major road connecting Badakhshan with the rest of Afghanistan.

Once a dilapidated structure nicknamed the “scary bridge”, the new bridge will now ensure safe passage for all Afghans travelling to and from Badakhshan during the critical winter months. The original 30-meters-high bridge, dating to the Soviet occupation, crosses the Kokcha River and was in such a bad state that crossing it became a danger. ISAF patrols operating in Teshkan identified the state of the bridge and concluded that it might even collapse in the near future.

With the go-ahead from the ISAF Regional Command North, Colonel Sahm, Provincial Reconstruction Team Feyzabad commander, immediately informed the governor of Badakhshan about the construction plans. Both men agreed that immediate action was required as large scale repair works during the winter season would prove next to impossible.

The two men opted for an unusual and ambitious solution-instead of trying to repair the old bridge, a new metal bridge should be placed on top of the existing structure. The PRT would immediately start the planning; the Governor’s team would inform the population, start preparing the construction site and organize security through ANP.

The new bridge is now crucial to the construction of the new tarmac road on Highway 302 that will connect Feyzabad with neighbouring Taloqan and Kunduz. Construction work has already begun and will be completed in 2009.

The Teshkan Bridge project is a perfect example how provincial authorities and ISAF cooperate effectively for the benefit of the Afghan population.

“We should take the new solid bridge as a symbol – a symbol for cooperation and peace,” said Colonel Sahm.

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