Once a bridge, now a museum

Ever heard of a bridge being converted into a museum?

A 117-year-old bridge on the Ganga River in Prayagraj, which has been abandoned by the Railways, is all set to be converted into a museum.

According to Divisional Commissioner Sanjay Goyal, he has asked the officials to find experts and prepare a detailed report as to how this double-storied bridge, could be converted into a museum.

Last year, the state government had floated a plan to develop this bridge as a ‘skywalk’ to enlighten the masses about the various cultures along and around the Ganga River.

The idea was to have a multimedia infotainment system, which will narrate culture, heritage, temples, food, clothes, mythology along the river.

The skywalk was to be made of glass supported by metal frames and ropes with solar panels on top, to power the light system of the bridge.

Agencies are now being asked to prepare a detailed action plan with special attention to the projects which will further highlight the spiritual, cultural and historical heritage of the city.

The construction of the Lord Curzon Bridge that catered to both rail and vehicular traffic was sanctioned in 1901 as a state railway bridge.

The bridge has a single broad gauge (BG) line between the girders and a roadway on top. The engineer-in-charge was Robert Richard Gales.

It opened for railway traffic on June 15, 1905, and for road traffic on December 20, 1905.

The Railways decided to close and demolish the structure in 1998, deeming the bridge unsafe for rail and road traffic.

The last train to pass on the bridge was the Ganga-Gomti Express going from Prayagraj to Lucknow.

This bridge was officially named Motilal Nehru Setu after independence but it continued to be known as Curzon bridge.

“The idea of developing this bridge as a ‘river museum’ is based on the fact that there are not many such places in the country and Prayagraj has a unique identity because of the Sangam. We would like to develop the idea further, in line with the proposed development of the bridge as ‘skywalk’, initiated by the state government last year,” said the Divisional Commissioner.

20220408-144802

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