Saturday, June 06, 2009

Satok bridge revisited

The old Satok bridge was built in 1926, nearly a quarter of a century after its construction was proposed. Measuring 130 meters long and 2.3 meters wide, it was built to hold water pipes to connect the reservoir and the opposite side of the river.

The water was sourced from the Matang Hills, where fresh water was supplied for the consumption of Kuching's residents at that time.

As far as I can remember, old photos in my grandparents' albums show that a single car could use the bride at any one time, while pedestrians walked freely across.

Unfortunately, the bridge snapped a few years back, and the only remnants of the bridge are the steel structures that held it up a long time ago. Its still pretty amazing that the bridge held up itself for almost 80 years.. even houses in Kuching don't last that long!

An interesting fact: the bridge's construction worried wrongdoers (aka. criminals) at that time for one good reason - Dayak tradition stipulates that a few slaves need to be sacrificed and thrown into the first pit that was dug to build the bridge in order to drive away demons. Fortunately the tradition was never followed.

At first glance one may mistake this for a WW2 bunker, but its actually a podium built to support the bridge. The interior of this ''room'' is currently swamped with water, so only god knows what else resides in there!

A small sampan rests nearby as it waits for its owners to take it out for fishing once again.

Amidst the clamor of a nearby food outlet, its so peaceful to watch the sun set and the see the waters of the Sarawak River flow past quietly.

The current Satok bridge is no where as elegant as its predecessor. Its just a large slab of concrete as of now.

As Kuching continues to develop, I hope it retains its green jungles as I see it today. Otherwise all of these will dissapear very soon.


1 Comment:

AnandaSim said...

The sampan shot is lovely in composition, subject interest and colours.


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