Construction of three bridges across Buckingham Canal resumed after it was put on hold following the contractor abandoning the project.

The bridges are expected to be completed by March next year. They are being built under the tsunami rehabilitation programme in Kancheepuram district.

A highways department official said around 50 per cent of the work on these bridges — at Nemmeli, Thazhuthaali Kuppam and Kadapakkam — had been completed before the contractor abandoned the project due to financial reasons. Fresh bids were then called for.

The bridges are crucial in the coastal regions and they rise 5.5 metres above the high-tide level of Buckingham Canal. “In case there is a tsunami, the water level in the canal will rise. These bridges will prevent a total cut-off and maintain connectivity with other areas for residents along the coast and banks of the canal,” the official said.

Since the approach paths to the bridges need more earth filling than usual because of their greater height, the contractor could not bear the cost of the work and left the project mid way, the official said.

However, tenders are yet to be finalised for two more bridges on Thirukazhukundram Road in Mamallapuram — one across the backwaters and another across the Canal. The work has been on hold for six months now.

The bridge at Nemmeli on East Coast Road (ECR), being built at a cost of Rs. 6 crore, will connect residents to Tiruporur on Old Mahabalipuram Road (OMR) and also cut down on travel time between the two areas.

Tiruporur town panchayat president Saktheswari Sivaraman said residents were forced to take a circuitous route to reach places on ECR.

“We have to go via either Kelambakkam or Poonjeri near Mamallapuram. We hope the bridge is ready soon,” she said.

The bridges are expected to be completed by March next year