Decks have been cleared to take up the remaining work on the Kollam and Alappuzha bypass of the NH 66 on a cost-sharing basis between the State and Centre. The work will be done in the Engineering, Procurement Construction (EPC) mode.

Tenders for the work were finalised by the National Highway wing of the Public Works Department (PWD) and were uploaded on the website. Official sources told The Hindu that this would be the first work to be taken up on 50:50 cost-sharing basis by the State and the Centre on the National Highway stretch in the country.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the two NH bypass works, estimated to cost Rs. 524 crore, will be signed next week. The State government mooted the proposal to take up the work on cost-sharing mode to the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways in order to complete the much-delayed work. With the completion of work, motorists can skip the two cities while proceeding along the NH 66.

Cost of bypasses

The Kollam NH 66 bypass will cost Rs.267 crore and Alappuzha Rs.257 crore as per the latest estimates worked out by the PWD. The work will commence in three months and will be completed in 30 months.

On the 13-km Kollam bypass, a 45-metre right of way would be available for the entire stretch. Already, 4.80 km has been two-laned. A seven-metre two-lane carriageway, paved shoulders and earthen shoulders, three bridges, five culverts, one vehicle underpass, and five major intersections have been proposed.

Of the 6.80-km Alappuzha bypass, 5.46 km has already been two-laned. Forty-five metres of right of way is available except on the 1.1-km stretch that passes through the beach. A 3.2-km elevated highway has been proposed in the city area and a seven-metre carriageway below it.

Two rail overbridges, three pedestrian underpasses, 14 culverts, and two major grade junctions have been proposed on the Alappuzha NH 66 bypass. The two works figure in the first phase works to be taken up under the Speed Kerala project in which 22 projects are included. The bypasses will also be the first to go in the EPC mode following the recent directive of the Union Ministry.

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