Century-old Kuala Krai-Kota Bharu suspension bridge may be on verge of collapse

KUALA KRAI, March 11: The Sultan Ismail Suspension Bridge, built here in the 1920s as the main transportation connection between Kuala Krai and Kota Bharu, may be on the verge of collapse.

Photo credit: go-go-kyorochan.official.jp FB

Its operation was discontinued in 1986 after a new bridge was built next to it; however, the suspension bridge, also called Gertak Gantung Sungai Nal by the locals, still stands proudly as a landmark of the people’s heritage in Kelantan.

However, after more than 100 years, the British era bridge with its European-style architecture, may not last much longer as it could collapse at any time if it is not preserved in time.

Checks by Bernama on the 21-metre-long and nine-metre-wide bridge found several crack marks on the structure and soil erosion near the bridge that crosses over Sungai Nal.

Siti Faezah Ab Manaf, a 33-year-old resident, said if something is not done immediately to repair the bridge, there is a high possibility of something unforeseen happening and destroying the historical heritage of Kelantan.

“We are definitely concerned and scared if this bridge collapses. The authorities must take immediate steps to ensure that this suspension bridge is preserved and protected so that future generations will know of the existence of this historic bridge,” she told Bernama today.

A native of Tumpat, Mohamad Harithah Zuhal, 32, who lives in Selangor, said he always uses the road that passes by the bridge and is proud to see that the country’s heritage is still beautifully preserved.

“However, when I passed the said road last week, I realised that some parts of the bridge structure were cracking and it seemed like it was going to collapse. Immediate action should be taken,” he said.

Meanwhile, state tourism, culture, arts and heritage committee chairman Datuk Kamarudin Md said talks with Kuala Krai District Council officials to repair the bridge had been going on for four months.

“We are waiting for feedback from the Kuala Krai District Council to determine the cause and the cost to restore the bridge.

“We will also ensure that this bridge, which is over 100 years old, will continue to be maintained and become one of the attractions for local and international tourists visiting the state of Kelantan,” he said.