Old bridge will be repaired and opened to one-way traffic from Kerala

A new parallel bridge being built across the Nethravati on the National Highway 66 here will be ready by the end of March next year, said the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). The new three-lane bridge would ease the traffic congestion on the existing two-lane bridge.

Speaking at the Karnataka Development Programme Review Committee meeting here on Wednesday, K.M. Hegde, Executive Engineer, NHAI, Mangalore Project Office, said that 80 per cent of the work of the bridge was over.

Mr. Hegde said the existing two-lane bridge had been built for the movement of 12,500 passenger car units (vehicles) a day. But as traffic density on the highway had gone up now it resulted in traffic jam sometimes. During festivities, traffic movement went up to 40,000 passenger car units (vehicles) per day.

The parallel three-lane bridge would facilitate the movement of 35,000 passenger car units (vehicles) a day. One-way traffic from Mangalore to Kasaragod would be allowed on the new bridge, which is 800m long and 12m wide. Embankment work on the one side of the bridge was pending.

He said that once the new bridge was ready, the old bridge would be closed for about a month for repairs, and on reopening would allow one-way traffic from Kasaragod to Mangalore.

B. Ramanath Rai, Minister in-charge of Dakshina Kannada and Minister for Forests, Environment and Ecology, presided over the meeting for reviewing progress of development projects in the district.

An official from the Karnataka Road Development Corporation Ltd (KRDCL) told the meeting that widening and upgrading the 800-metre-long exit road from Mangalore International Airport had not been completed due to land acquisition issues. The district administration was yet to acquire land to a length of 350m and handed over to KRDCL.

The official said that the widening work of Mani-Sampaje stretch on Mani-Mysore Road would stick to the deadline and be over by May next year.

B.A. Mohiuddin Bava, MLA, said that companies were not setting up shops at the Export Promotion Industrial Park at Ganjimath (on Mangalore-Moodbidri Road) because of issues relating to power supply. An official of Karnataka Power Supply Corporation Ltd (KPTCL) blamed the delay in setting up a 220 kV sub-station at the park for the problem. Whether Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board, which developed the park, should set up the sub-station or KPTCL should do it, has not been sorted out, he said. Mr. Rai directed the officials to settle the issue mutually at the earliest.

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