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Mawanella Old Arch Bridge

Mawanella Old Arch Bridge (Sinhala:මාවනැල්ල පැරණි පාළම) is a colonial-era brick bridge located in Mawanella town in Kegalle District, Sri Lanka.

The construction work of the Colombo-Kandy road commenced in the early part of the 19th century under the direction of the British Colonial Administration (Abeyawardana, 2002). Accordingly, they had five bridges to be completed across a few rivers on the new route. These included the arch bridge over the Maha Oya in Mawanella, the ferry bridge over the Kelani Ganga River, the arch bridge over the Hingula Oya in Hingula, the Pilimathalawa Bridge across Nanu Oya and the Satin bridge over the Mahaweli Ganga river in Peradeniya (Abeyawardana, 2002).

Of the five bridges, the construction work of the Mawanella bridge was started in 1832 and completed in 1833 (Abeyawardana, 2002).
The bridge
The 70 m long bridge rests on four brick arches and no other reinforcements have been used in its construction (Abeyawardana, 2002). Although over 180 years old, the bridge is still used for vehicular traffic. However, a new concrete bridge was recently constructed to the north of this bridge to reduce the increasing traffic.

A protected monument
The old British colonial brick bridge at the 56th milestone, crossing the Maha Oya in Mawanella village in the Divisional Secretariat Division of Mawanella is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 1 November 1996.
1) Abeyawardana, H.A.P., 2002. Heritage of Sabaragamuwa: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Sabaragamuwa Development Bank and The Central Bank of Sri Lanka. ISBN: 955-575-077-7.  pp.54-55.
2) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 948. 1 November 1996.

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This page was last updated on 14 February 2023

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