The works for the restoration of the historic Plaka bridge in Ipiros, are expected to start in the summer, according to the committee responsible for the restoration of the historic bridge following a meeting with Culture Minister Lydia Koniordou in Athens.
“Keeping the timetables for the studies’ approvals and the tendering is a very important matter and a prerequisite for the start of the works in the summer. I am optimistic that by the summer of 2018, we shall see the bridge rising again over the Arachthos River,” said North Tzoumerka mayor Yiannis Senteles.
The bridge, which was one of the most impressive examples of Greek popular architecture, collapsed on 1 February 2015. A flash flood; caused by heavy rainfall, caused the Arachthos River to rip the bridge’s foundations from the riverbanks, leading to the collapse of the central section of the bridge, which was then washed away.
Plaka Bridge was a one-arch stone bridge completed in 1866. It was located at the borders of Arta and Ioannina prefectures. Its arch was 40 metres (130 ft) wide and 17.61 m high, making it the largest one-arch bridge in Greece and the Balkans, and the third largest one-arch stone bridge in Europe. It also had two smaller, auxiliary arches of 6 metres (20 ft) wide on either side of the central arch. It was considered “one of the most difficult, single-arch bridges to construct”.