1897 Minutes of the Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers  
The Victoria Bridge, Colombo." By CHARLES VINCEBT BELLAMIY, hssoc. 16. Inst. C.E. THE trunk road between Colombo and Kandy has hitherto been carried over the River Kelani by a pontoon bridge, known as the Bridge of Boats, situated a t Grandpass, about 3 miles north of the port of Colombo. This was completed in 1825, and for fortytwo years the whole of the traffic between Colombo and the important planting districts passed over it, until road transportation was to a great extent superseded by
more » ... opening of the Ceylon Government Railway in 1867. A large tract of country, not served by the railway, immediately north of Colombo, given over largely to the cultivation of cocoanuts, has, of recent years, greatly developed, and the traffic over the bridge accordingly increased. The bridge could not be used simultaneously for road and river traffic owing to the height between the roadway and the water-level being insufficient to allow boats to pass under it. The cost of its maintenance amounted to about 12 per cent. of the total cost of the new bridge; and there was always the liability, during heavy floods, to injury to the pontoons themselves, and to interference with vehicular traffic. It was also considered to offer considerable resistance not only by intercepting the current of the river at the surface, where it is fastest, but also by the collection of river-drift, and to be therefore the indirect cause of much of the flooding of low-lying districts about Colombo during the rainy seasons. The removal of the structure-intended probably in the first instance only as temporary-and its substitution by a permanent one were therefore considered necessary. Traffic on each side of the Bridge of Boats was at all times so much congested that a site lower down the river, and further to Lhe westward, was selected for the new bridge, IFig. 1, Plate 7, the approaches to which run more or less parallel, 'but some distance from the old road, so that the traffic has been diverted from the narrow thoroughfares which had formerly to be traversed. The Downloaded by [ University of Sussex] on [14/09/16].
doi:10.1680/imotp.1897.19451 fatcat:b2c2rlnewncxvo26t6afnyw6si