BALAKOT: The central Ayub Bridge was reopened for all kinds of traffic on Saturday due to which the residents of Balakot tehsil took a sigh of relief .
The 60-year-old Ayub Bridge was closed for traffic on September 26, 2017 after emergence of cracks and eight-feet rift in two pillars of the bridge to avoid any mishap.
Spokesman of National Highway Authority (NHA) said that a temporary steel bridge had been put in place to conduct the traffic to ease the hardships of the people.
The Chinese company working on Suki Kinari Hydro Power Project has played a leading role in installing steel bridge and restoring the traffic.
Due to closure of bridge the population of Balakot residing on the two sides of River Kunhar (UC Balakot & Garlat) had to suffer as it was the only bridge which conducts the traffic and there is only another suspension bridge in the area which is for pedestrians only.
It also created problems for tourists visiting Kaghan valley as it conducts the traffic from Balakot to road leading to Kaghan and Naran valley and during the period of closure of bridge, business of hotel industry and tourism sector was also adversely affected.
During this period, the people who want to travel to other side of the river had to travel miles of distance and they were forced to take the Garhi Habibullah route to reach other side of the bridge.