Dilapidated bridge poses safety risk for residents

Even load-carrying vehicles use this dilapidated bridge as a short cut across Uyyakondan canal to reach Bheema Nagar and Palakkarai.   | Photo Credit: M. Moorthy

A small bridge connecting Alwarthoppu with Bheema Nagar across Uyyakondan Canal lies in a dilapidated condition. With pedestrians, two-wheelers, auto-rickshaws and even mini trucks using it, the bad condition of the bridge poses a safety risk to the residents.

The Uyyakondan canal, which runs right through the heart of Tiruchi, originates from Cauvery river near Pettavaithalai. Said to be over 1,000 years old, it was dug by Raja Raja Cholan to irrigate agricultural lands. Later small bridges were constructed across the canal so that people and vehicles from one side of the canal can go to the other side.

S. Ibrahim, a resident of Alwarthoppu, said, “A wooden bridge was originally constructed and eventually made way for a metal structure. When the metal bridge experienced wear and tear, it was replaced with the concrete bridge around 30 years ago.” The parapet on either side of the bridge began to show signs of damage five years ago, and with heavy rains and increase in vehicular traffic, its condition is becoming worse by the day, the residents say.

“While only small vehicles used this bridge earlier, these days load-carrying vehicles take it as a shortcut to reach Bheema Nagar and Palakkarai,” Mr. Ibrahim said. The bridge is also used by students of a few schools in Alwarthoppu. “Traffic is heavy around 9 a.m. We do not know if the bridge can bear the weight of so many vehicles at one time,” he said.

Since the bridge is narrow, only one vehicle from one direction can use it at a time. When auto-rickshaws or mini goods carriers cross the bridge, they block the way and disrupt the traffic flow.

The residents have written to the Public Works Department seeking renovation and expansion of the bridge. It should be wide enough to facilitate two-way traffic,” he said.

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Printable version | Oct 20, 2021 4:59:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/dilapidated-bridge-poses-safety-risk-for-residents/article36666876.ece

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