Kerala

Foot overbridge at East Fort all set for opening

The foot overbridge at East Fort.

The foot overbridge at East Fort. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The woes of pedestrians attempting to cross the road at East Fort junction may soon come to an end with the opening of the foot overbridge. Work on the long-delayed project, initiated by the city Corporation in a public private partnership model with Sun Infrastructure Private Limited, has now been completed. The inauguration is expected to be held within a week.

The L-shaped structure, equipped with two elevators on either side of the main road, has four entry and exit points at Gandhi Park, near the bus stop towards Attukal, in front of Karimpanal Arcade and near the bus stop towards Poonthura. Along the span of the overbridge stretching to 102 metre, a total of 37 CCTV cameras have been installed. These will be monitored from the traffic aid post, which has been constructed adjacent to the overbridge.

Due to its location in the heritage zone at the Fort area, the bridge's exterior has been modelled as a fort wall with white colour, matching the structure of the adjacent fort wall. The project had run into rough weather initially after the Archaeology department opposed the design. The exterior portions of the bridge have been adorned with portraits of cultural and political figures. Free wifi connection will be available within a limited zone around the bridge. Drinking water kiosks will also be installed. Four cleaning and security staff have been appointed.

The work has been completed at a cost of around ₹4 crore, with all the expenditure being made by the private company. It will be recovering the costs through the revenue from advertisements on the huge LED walls that have been attached to the bridge. Though the work was officially launched by the then Public Works Minister G.Sudhakaran in 2019, it came to a standstill after the COVID-19 outbreak. It was restarted only at the end of 2021, and has now been completed in eight months.

The East Fort area has witnessed the death of close to 20 pedestrians in the past few years, leading to persistent demands for measures to ensure the safety of pedestrians. A similar foot overbridge, equipped with escalators and elevators is proposed to be built at Thampanoor, connecting the KSRTC terminal and the Central Railway Station.

A foot overbridge in front of the Cotton Hill Girls’ Higher Secondary School was inaugurated in 2018, while another one was constructed in front of St.Mary's Higher Secondary School, Pattom. However, a large number of students as well as pedestrians have been reluctant to use it. Dividers with increased heights are being planned at East Fort so that the public would use the foot overbridge and reduce the chance of accidents.


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Printable version | Aug 7, 2022 10:40:38 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/foot-overbridge-at-east-fort-all-set-for-opening/article65564076.ece