Rajesh B. Nair
PUDUCHERRY: Work on a new bridge across the Ariankuppam backwater on Cuddalore Road, suspended for three years, commenced a few days ago.
The work, suspended in 2007 due to paucity of funds, should be completed by March 2011.
The 122-year-old existing bridge will be replaced with a new four lane bridge at a cost of over Rs 14 crore. The government had sanctioned the amount in the month of March this year, officials in the government told The Hindu.
Nearly 80 per cent of the work to construct the well of the foundation was over since the work initially commenced in January 2005. The new bridge will be 183 metres long, 14 metres longer than the existing bridge. It will be 20.5 metres wide with a 1.86 metre central median. The old bridge was only 6.70 metres wide, officials said.
The government was taking technical advice from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.
Providing technical details of the bridge, an official said the deck slab of the bridge, pier cap, piers and abutment of the bridge on either side would be cast using superior grade concrete.
The bridge has been designed to withstand tremors, he said, adding that the steel would be given a preservative coating to avoid erosion as it was close to the sea.
The government was in the process of floating tenders to invite application to construct a four-lane approach road on both sides. The approach road on the northern side would be 376 metres, and 850 metres on the southern side, officials said.
Steps were being taken to relocate the huts on either sides of the approach road and road work will be completed in March next year.
Meanwhile, the government has appointed a Hyderabad-based private consultant to conduct a feasibility study on providing a rail over-bridge at Arumparthapuram and Natesan Nagar.
The consultant will also look into the feasibility of constructing a fly-over from Rajiv Gandhi Statue junction to Indira Gandhi Statue junction.
The consultant will submit the preliminary report in the next two months.
Based on the findings of the study, the government will approach the Union Government for its approval. “If the Centre gives its approval, funds can be sought from the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission for taking up the work,” officials said.