Iraq’s military engineers have erected an iron bridge across the Tigris River linking Mosul’s eastern and western halves.
The bridge can accommodate small and large vehicles, Iraqi’s Ministry of Defense stated on its website announcing the completion of the bridge on Sunday.
Mosul had five bridges spanning the Tigris that bisects the city. All five were targeted by coalition airstrikes during the military campaign to oust ISIS from the city. The last bridge was “disabled” by an airstrike in mid-December.
Reconnecting the two sides is an important step in rebuilding the city.
“Bridges are the lifeblood of Mosul, restoring them means restoring stability and prosperity for the city,” blogger and historian from the city, Mosul Eye, wrote on Facebook Sunday night.
Iraqi forces had previously set up a temporary pontoon bridge limited to pedestrian traffic.
Reconstruction in Mosul has been slow. A few people who have the money are rebuilding their homes, but many more don’t have the funds and are waiting for assistance from the government – aid that has not come yet.
According to UN Habitat figures, more than 10 million tons of conflict-generated debris will need to be cleared in Mosul. This figure is preliminary and final figures could be “several factors higher,” UN Habitat states on its website