Pachalam overbridge holds the key to revitalising Kochi Corporation’s Goshree-Mamangalam Road project.

Once ready, the road would provide an alternative to the congested High Court-Edappally road. The proposal for the four-lane road was dropped considering the phenomenal increase in the cost of land acquisition. With the State government and the corporation being jolted from sleep following massive demand from the public and political parties for a bridge at Pachalam, the road project through densely populated areas too is expected to materialise in the coming years.

New bridge

Key decision-makers seem to have reached a consensus on building a two-lane bridge having 1:20 gradient at Pachalam. “All that a two-lane carriageway needs is 7.5 metres of space. Footpaths and ducts on either side will require another three metres of space. Which means, a bridge that will unwind snarls at Pachalam and adjacent roads can be built at minimal width without displacing too many people,” said K.J. Sohan, the chairman of the Kochi Corporation’s Town Planning Standing Committee.

Pachalam could do with a two-lane bridge for the next 20 or 30 years. Cost of land acquisition could further be brought down if the bridge was built at 1:20 gradient – an elevation of 1 metre for every 20-metre distance, he said.

The gradient as per JNNURM norms is 1:30. Though this ensures a less steep bridge, its length and land to be acquired will increase. Mr Sohan spoke of how vehicles are using North overbridge which is being rebuilt at a 1:20 gradient. The bridge had a 1:14 gradient before it was pulled down.

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