Deepa H Ramakrishnan
Corporation to decide on contract today
CHENNAI: The Chennai Corporation’s proposal to light up Napier Bridge, one of the city’s oldest bridges, is taking shape with the tender being finalised. Four contractors participated in the bid, and the financial bids of three were opened and perused. The civic body’s council, which will meet on Monday, will decide whether to award the contract to the lowest bidder or not.
The lighting design has been finalised by a private consultant and the contractor would supply the electrical fittings as per that. Initially, the contractor would complete the lighting on one arch.
The lighting will create a night-time identity for the bridge, which has been named after Baron Napier of Magdala, who was Governor of Madras Presidency. The estimated cost of the work would be Rs.1.37 crore and work is expected to begin in a month’s time. It would take about 5-6 months for the work to be completed.
The arches of the bridge and the road surface will be lit up. Corporation sources said that the area beneath the bridge would also be lit up to create a floating effect. Both the old and new bridges would be lit up using soft lights that will accentuate its features while giving a glowing look.
Historians say that from old pictures it is seen that the old bridge did not have arches and that originally it was called Iron Bridge. The Napier Bridge replaced a simple early 18th Century bridge with minimal railings and its successor, a more striking early 20th Century bridge. The new bridge, a replica of the old Napier Bridge, was constructed in 1998 and has six spans.