The Chennai Corporation has set in motion the process of repairing and strengthening Kodambakkam bridge, which serves as a crucial link to several localities such as Ashok Nagar, K.K.Nagar and Vadapalani.
While the contractor is mobilising equipment for the Rs.4.74-crore.project, the civic body had recently vacated three bays, occupied by several shops, beneath the facility. Due to wear and tear, iron rods in the nearly 50-year-old-bridge have been exposed.
The treatment methodologies, officials of the Corporation explained, would include spraying of anti-corrosion material, polymer plastering and grouting.
Since the bearings have worn out, new ones would be inserted between the pillars and deck slabs.
To facilitate this work, traffic restrictions would be necessitated, in particular at night. The traffic would be diverted to the Rangarajapuram flyover, whose one arm is ready to be opened.
The repairs to the 623-metre-long and 12.8-m-wide Kodambakkam bridge have been necessitated after an expert study commissioned by the Corporation found that expansion joints had weakened due to water seepage and iron rods were exposed to elements in many spots.
There are around 100 shops beneath the bridge and civic body officials had convinced shopkeepers to vacate when the repair work is taken up. “We are asking them to move out. It is for their own safety that they have to vacate when the work is on,” an official said.
Some shops, including a car shed and those engaged in screen printing and photocopying, were shifted recently.
A few shop owners had filed cases in the Madras High Court refusing to vacate as another case pertaining to lease rent, levied by the Corporation, was pending.
The court has asked the Corporation to give due intimation to shop keepers, hear their opinion and take a decision accordingly.