Ghaziabad A committee of officials and engineers, formed to probe cracks on the surface of the old bridge over river Hindon, have found the structure to be unfit for vehicular movement and beyond repair, following a preliminary assessment.The district administration on Thursday had shut the bridge for vehicular movement after cracks surfaced on its structure. The district magistrate had constituted a committee of engineers from the UP public works department (PWD), PWD (NH division) and the UP State Bridge Corporation Limited. The committee held a meeting on Friday after a preliminary assessment of the bridge and found that the most plausible solution is the construction of a new bridge.“The bridge was resurfaced in 1956-57, as revealed by a stone slab near the structure. Its pillars were probably constructed during the British era. We are still searching for the official documentation that contains the specifications of the bridge. However, as per a physical inspection and preliminary assessment, the bridge seems to be beyond repair and even unfit for vehicular movement,” said Manish Verma, executive-engineer, UP-PWD.“We are still trying to ascertain if repairs of any sort can help,” he said.The team of engineers is also exploring options to resurrect the bridge before sending a final report to the district magistrate, which will be forwarded to the state government.According to engineers, the beam and the slabs have developed large cracks at two to three points that render the structure vulnerable and plying of vehicles may further damage it.Sakib Ali/HT PhotoThe bridge spans nearly 300 metres over the Hindon and is close to three other bridges, which lead to Vasundhara, Mohan Nagar and Ghaziabad. They said that the bridge is already past its lifespan of 50 years and several repairs had to be undertaken to correct the upper part of the structure.The bridge spans nearly 300 metres over the Hindon and is close to three other bridges, which lead to Vasundhara, Mohan Nagar and Ghaziabad. Officials are of the view that a new bridge is the most viable option but it may take a while to get clearances and funds for it.Since the cracks surfaced on Thursday, the traffic police are diverting the traffic from Ghaziabad to the one-lane bridge. The traffic from Mohan Nagar continued to move as usual on the first bridge towards Ghaziabad city and Meerut.Despite the police roping in personnel and volunteers from the civil defence to streamline traffic flow, long snarls were observed during the rush hour on Friday.The bridges over river Hindon are estimated to cater to around one lakh vehicles per day as it provides a link to Delhi, Ghaziabad city, trans-Hindon areas, Meerut and other areas over GT Road.“We have verified the report with engineers. They have said the bridge cannot be repaired and it is unsafe. The bridge corporation has recommended rebuilding the bridge. So, a new bridge will be needed now. The engineers’ report will be sent to the state government at the earliest,” said Ministhy S, district magistrate.