Pamban bridge to be renovated

D.J. Walter Scott
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At an estimated cost of Rs 18.58 crore in a year; bidder from Chennai

The Pamban road bridge.— Photo: L. Balachandar
The Pamban road bridge.— Photo: L. Balachandar

: The 21-year-old Annai Indira Gandhi Bridge (Pamban bridge), an engineering marvel, connecting the island of Rameswaram to the mainland, would be renovated at an estimated cost of Rs 18.58 crore.

After nearly a year-long search, the Public Works Department finalised a Chennai-based bidder Trinity & Co., for the project.

Official sources said the agreement is expected to be one year, but the work would be completed in six months. The work included anti-corrosive painting, provision of strip seal expansion joints, finger joints, CC wearing course and crack sealing.

The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways had initially sanctioned an estimated Rs.13.89 crore in March last, but the PWD could not take up the work in the absence of a qualified bidder. A year had lapsed as bids were cancelled and re-invited till the PWD finalised Trinity & Co.

As a year had lapsed after the Ministry gave its sanction, the PWD presented a revised estimate for Rs 19.95 crore based on current rates and the Ministry sanctioned the revised estimate for Rs.18.58 crore after making some modifications in the estimate.

“After the 2.345-km-long bridge was inaugurated by the late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1988, it was repainted twice in 1990 and 2001-02, but to be renovated for the first time now,” the sources said.

The bridge, designed like a bow over the sea to allow ships to pass beneath, is supported by 79 pillars, 64 of which were built in sea. All the pillars would be have an anti-corrosive paint coat, the sources said.

The splash zone of the spans, with a height of 3.36 meters would be painted with coal tar epoxy and the non-splash zone with a height of 5.1 meters would be painted with epoxy primer, the sources said. The entire bridge would be repainted at a cost of Rs.10 crore and the renovation at a cost of Rs.5 crore. As part of the repair work, all the 592 bearings in the spans would be replaced with prodding neoprene bearings.

The bridge would have new 90 watt LED lights after replacing all the existing 174 electric poles.

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