The Public Works department has invited tenders for the proposed bridge across river Manimala at Vallamkulam on the Thirvalla-Kumbazha State Highway.

In a statement issued here on Tuesday, Mr. Joseph M. Puthusserry, MLA, said the PWD would construct the new bridge in pre-stressed concrete at an estimated cost of Rs. 3.45 crore to replace the four decade old steel bridge.

The existing steel bridge linking the Eraviperoor and Kaviyoor panchayats in Thiruvalla taluk is the only steel bridge on the main trunk route to Sabarimala and many reports have also expressed doubts over the stability of the old steel structure.

Traffic congestion has been a regular feature on the old steel bridge, especially during the annual Sabarimala season when vehicular traffic flow used to be very high.

It is noteworthy that the PWD had to undertake a major strengthening work on the steel bridge nine years ago following the sinking of its pier.

The MLA said the new bridge would be constructed with a financial assistance of Rs. 2.76 crore from NABARD under the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund and the remaining Rs. 69 lakh would be borne by the government.

The proposed bridge will have a total length of 75.6-metre length and 11.05-metre. The proposed bridge will have three spans of 25 metres each. The Deadline for submitting the tenders to the PWD is September 25 and the department is planning to start the work in 2009 itself.

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