The Iraqi government has finished rebuilding fifteen bridges that were destroyed by the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) during their control of parts of Anbar province, an Iraqi official announced on Monday (December 4th).
About 100 bridges in Anbar have suffered damage as a result of ISIS attacks, said Mahdi Abdul Farhan, head of the Anbar roads and bridges directorate.
In July 2016, the directorate initiated a plan to rehabilitate all damaged bridges with funding from the Reconstruction Fund for Areas Affected by Terroristic Operations, the World Bank and the United Nations Development Programme, he told Diyaruna.
"So far, we have completed the rebuilding of 15 vital bridges in the cities of Ramadi, al-Khalidiya, Fallujah, Haditha and al-Mohammedi district in joint efforts with specialised local companies," he said.
These bridges include the Palestine iron bridge, the al-Mamoun floating bridge and the new Fallujah bridge.
The reconstruction of six other bridges -- the iron bridge in Heet, the Jabba bridge in al-Baghdadi district, the Saqlawiya bridge, the Sikka bridge in Albu Aloun west of Fallujah and the Hilwa and Anaz bridges east of Ramadi -- is expected to start soon.
These have recently been handed over to companies affiliated with the Ministry of Construction and Housing and local contractors, Farhan said.
Iraq needs about $180 million to rebuild the rest of the ruined bridges, he added.
"The lack of funding is delaying the reconstruction of more bridges," he said, noting that funds from international organisations are covering the cost of restoring the bridges "as the state's resources are barely enough for emergency works".
Many main roads in the province have been reopened to motorised traffic, he said, after intensive efforts to remove debris and repair damage caused by car bombs and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) planted by the gunmen to hinder the military forces’ advance.