Construction work on a new design of the Saracha Bridge on the Jalalabad-Torkham highway in eastern Nangarhar province was formally launched on Wednesday.
The key bridge was destroyed by floods two years ago and replaced with a temporary iron bridge provided by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Governor Maulvi Attaullah Ludin, provincial council members, officials and tribal elders attended the inaugural ceremony.
Ludin said having a one-year timescale, the 140-metre long and 10-metre wide bridge would cost $4.5 million to be provided the US.
Later, the governor said the bridge was one of the mega projects to be implemented in Nangarhar.
Ludin said they were trying to launch construction work on the second lane of Torkham-Jalalabad highway in near future. He was upbeat work on the Behsud Bridge would be started soon.
He said construction works on Jandarma and Farm bridges were in full swing and would be completed within a few months.
Provincial public works director Eng. Gul Rassoul Faqir said the USAID-funded temporary iron bridge, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, had been given in control of his department.
He said the iron bridge would be used to replace a destroyed one wherever required.
An engineer with the contractor said the new bridge would be strong manifolds compared to the previous one, which had been built by Pakistan.
“Design of the new bridge is prepared abroad. I can say with confidence it will be the strongest bridge compared to the old one.”
A tribal elder in Behsud district, Malak Nimat, said the bridge, once completed, would resolve traffic problems on the highway.
He said the temporary bridge submerged in floodwaters, forcing vehicles to stop proceeding.
The elder promised they would keep monitoring the construction affairs in order to prevent any wrongdoing.