The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has sanctioned a total of Rs 36 crores for the Edapally railway overbridge.
Construction activities on the bridge got stalled indefinitely after the contractor engaged by the PWD (NH wing) abandoned the work midway over two years ago. The sanctioning of Central funds would enable pending work on the bridge and the approach roads to be completed. The Railways had completed its portion of the bridge over the rail line many years ago. The bridge provides crucial connectivity at the ever-busy Edapally level-crossing along the NH 17.
A PWD (NH) official said that the much-delayed bridge would be thrown open to traffic within a year of resuming the work.
“Thirteen more spans have to be built and so also the approach roads. We would soon enter into an agreement with the new contractor – Cherian Varkey, who bid for the project to complete the pending works for Rs 21 crore. The initial contracting agency has been blacklisted and they would have to pay penalty as well,” he said.
The project would have been over for Rs 18 crore had the first contractor completed it on time.
The incomplete bridge had resulted in motorists in either direction being forced to wait for long till the narrow level crossing was opened to traffic.
The gate malfunctioning very often after vehicles rammed into it, made matters worse.
The two-lane bridge would have a 7.50-metre-wide carriageway, apart from a footpath on one side. Once the bridge is commissioned, the city could expand towards Cheranalloor.
Answering a question on undulations over the 1.70-km-long Kundanoor bridge that has been causing accidents, the PWD official said that the agency is awaiting Central funds worth approximately Rs 3.50 crores to scoop out the tarred surface and resurface the bridge. One-way traffic would be allowed when the work is on. The contractor collecting users' fee would have to increase the number of toll booths, to prevent vehicles waiting for long to pay toll for the bridge, he said.