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Heritage Of Surat : Hope Bridge icon

  • iconChowk Bazar, Surat, Gujarat 395003

The foundation of the city’s oldest bridge that connects Chowk Bazaar and Rander was laid by the then District Collector and Magistrate, Theodore Hope in 1864 AD. Built at a cost of Rs 8.13 lakh, it was dedicated to the public on May 1, 1877. Its length was 1,700 ft. and width was 16ft. the bridge was built across the Tapi River. There was no charge collected from the citizens for two days following the inauguration, after which the users had to pay a fee of two pai every time they used the bridge. This could have been the first toll tax concept introduced in Surat or even in Gujarat.

Till 1960 AD, it was the only bridge over the Tapi. The Nehru Bridge adjoining it was built in 1966 AD and the Sardar and Swami Vivekanand Bridge in 1992 AD and 1996 AD. Later the government decided to dismantle the 131-year-old bridge because its structure had reportedly become unstable and unsafe for traffic. The public protested the dismantling due to its historic value.

In a move to please the people, SMC's bridge department came up with a unique design for pedestrian walkway on the new bridge that would replicate the Hope Bridge structure.

The new bridge - planned along with the existing Nehru Bridge - has a 7.5-metre wide main carriage way for vehicular movement. A 3.5 metre wide walkway replicating the design of Hope Bridge is also constructed. The walkway has cross-section triangular iron girders to give a feeling to the citizens as if they are walking on the Hope Bridge.

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