The condition of five other bridges continues to be pathetic

Reopening of the eastern lanes of the four-lane Kumbalam-Aroor bridge on National Highway 47 between Edappally and Aroor is likely to be delayed after a team of engineers from the Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai, commissioned to study the bridge’s problems, has suggested, among other things, to break up the entire tarred surface of the bridge.

The IIT team, which submitted its report on Friday, also suggested the use of glass beads to create better friction between the concrete surface of the bridge and the black top layer, sources in National Highways Authority of India said. The report has suggested that the bridge be given a fresh black top after the entire surface, now extensively damaged, is removed.

The NHAI has already begun to make estimates for the repair work, which is likely to be delayed because of the nature and extent of the work involved.

The IIT report will be taken to Chennai on Saturday for more detailed discussions by NHAI officials.

The Kumbalam-Aroor bridge was ordered closed in July as rains intensified and after the bridge’s surface developed large holes, posing a grave danger to motorists. The traffic flow from Ernakulam towards the southern districts is now diverted to the parallel bridge.

Meanwhile, the condition of the other five bridges on the 16-km stretch between Edappally and Aroor continues to be pathetic, though an NHAI official said that the repair works, delayed by rains, would begin soon. The condition of the rail overbridge at Vyttila, especially its western wing, is extremely poor.

Deep fissures formed at the joints of the spans pose grave danger to motorists, especially two-wheeler riders. Vehicular traffic comes to a crawl during the peak hours as vehicles try to avoid the damaged portions of the bridge.

The condition of the other bridges on the National Highway between Vyttila and Aroor too is poor.

The approach road to the Nettoor bridge is the most dangerous of the damage suffered by the National Highway bypass. The Madvana and Kumbalam bridges too are in poor shape.

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