Ponnurunni bridge was scheduled to open in September 2012

Motorists and pedestrians are finding it tough to use the road adjacent to the construction site of the unfinished Ponnurunni overbridge.

The delay in commissioning the bridge had already made life miserable for residents and shop owners. The bridge should have been commissioned by September 2012. What has made matters worse is the dumping of the bridge’s construction materials on the busy Ponnurunni-Vyttila Road.

This is apart from the plethora of broken or missing slabs over the drains in the stretch. The footpath is frequented by children from nearby schools.

The Roads and Bridges Development Corporation of Kerala (RBDCK) had set a deadline of 15 months to complete the bridge and entrusted the work to a construction firm. As matters stand, the span over the railway portion and the adjacent span are yet to be readied. This is apart from the delay in filling up and surfacing the bridge’s approach portions.

Sources in the agency attributed the delay in completing the works to the delay in obtaining the permission of the Commissioner of Railway Safety.

“We also had to change the design of a few spans because oil pipelines were passing near the railway track. The approach roads will be ready once a few more cents of land are acquired on the bridge’s southern end, nearing Vyttila. The Kochi Corporation has to speed up the land acquisition.”

They said the private construction firm was responsible for preventing hassles to members of the public in and around the work site.

The situation is worst at the bell mouth where the Vyttila-Thammanam Road meets Subhash Bose Road. The steel sheets used for shuttering have been stacked one over the other right at the curve in front of the Kudumbasree Café, for the past few months.

This makes it tough for even light vehicles to cross the stretch. Matters would have been better if the sheets were stacked elsewhere or even beneath the bridge where there is plenty of vacant space.

The careless staking of these materials is causing frequent traffic hold ups in the stretch. An official of the firm said the sheets were brought for the pending work over the rails. “Construction materials that obstruct traffic flow will be removed,” he assured.

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