Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Pont de Linares

The Pont de Linares  is one of the oldest heritage transportation structures  and one of the longest bridges built in the 17th century in Asia .This 3 km bridge was built between Patto in Panjim to Ribander as a connecting link between the old capital ( old goa – ella) and the new capital . The causeway is flanked by the Mandovi River on one side and khazan lands on the other. The arches of the Pont de Linares causeway are designed with sluice gates which open based on tides, thereby controlling the tidal flow in land in the khazan lands .



Bridge Design    
In the Portuguese times, distances were measured in covados (one covado = 0.66 metre). In his book Snapshots of Indo-Portuguese History – I, Vasco Pinho mentions that the Pont de Linares Bridge was 4448 covados long which translates into a length of almost 2.95 kms. The bridge had total 38 arches on the Panjim side the Ourem Bridge acting as the final link on the Panjim side. The bridge had another 6 arches on Ribander side with the causeway in between.


Ponte de Linhares History
Bridge consruction started in 1633 as the Ponte de Pangim . The bridge ultimately cost approx Rs 40,000 to build which was a huge sum at that time and was renamed as Ponte de Linhares in 1634 when it was opened for traffic. It is said that the reason for building this causeway by D. Miguel de Noronha (23rd Viceroy (1629-1635)) was to spend locally the revenues of Estado da Índia rather than sending them back to Portugal
Collage of Pont de Linares - From Central Library Archives

Current Times
The causeway and the Ourem Bridge still soldier on to this date. In recent times (around 2000) a new bypass road was constructed to reduce traffic on the Pont de Linares.The new road is almost 11 km long along the new alignment of NH 4-A. Even today this bridge forms an important link for travellers who want to visit goa via Ponda