Traffic along the one-km-long Kundanoor-Thevara bridge where repair and resurfacing work is underway, will be regulated from Wednesday. Traffic will be allowed only in one direction at a time. Only light vehicles, autos and two-wheelers will be allowed on the bridge.
By mid-April, the works would be over and traffic restored, said said S. Mohanan, the Superintending Engineer of PWD (NH wing).
Traffic police has said that two-wheelers, autos and cars from the city to West Kochi and Wellingdon Island will be permitted along the Alexander Parambithara bridge from Saturday morning. Heavy vehicles will not be allowed over the bridge till further notice.
Though vehicles are restricted through the bridge, a few light vehicles are using the bridge, since alternative routes are lengthier. Traffic police have asked motorists to exercise caution while commuting over the bridge, since the expansion joints protrude above the bridge surface at frequent intervals following the chipping away of the tarred surface.
The PWD would replace the bridge’s 17 problematic expansion joints. The main work is to tar coat the entire bridge.
Seven expansion joints will be replaced over the adjacent Alexander Parambithara bridge where there is no need to chip away the tarred surface. Footpaths alongside both the bridges will be aligned and restored simultaneously with the resurfacing works by the PWD. The Kochi Corporation has to ensure the proper working of street lights over the two bridges.
The diversion of vehicles in connection with the repair and resurfacing works of the two bridges has aggravated traffic snarls in Vytilla, SA Road, Thevara and Vathuruthy.
The traffic police have not taken steps to prevent haphazard parking that obstruct the smooth flow of vehicles at many of these places. The situation has become worse at Elamkulam and Kadavanthra, where the Kerala Water Authority pipelines stacked on the road and road shoulder many months ago are obstructing the movement of vehicles and pedestrians. The agency has not begun work to lay the pipelines.
Traffic is the most chaotic in the Thevara-Vathuruthy stretch, which is unable to cater to the additional inflow of vehicles.
The curbs on entry of vehicles into the old Venduruthy bridge has made matters worse atop the new bridge built parallel to it.