Construction of Jagathy bridge to be taken up

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, JULY 20. The new single-lane Jagathy bridge being constructed across Killi river at a cost of Rs. 1.25 crores to reduce the bottleneck on the Vazhuthacaud-Poojapara road will commence this month end.

The 54 metre long and five metre wide bridge is to be constructed a couple of metres away on the right side of the existing bridge. The bridge will have footpaths on both sides for the pedestrians. As the proposed bridge is of single lane, only a vehicle will be able to pass through it at a time.

The work for the bridge had been entrusted to the private construction company which carried out the construction of the Plamooodu bridge along the NH 47 in the city in record time. The existing bridge will be retained as it has found that there is no damage to the structure. The vehicular traffic will be made one- way through the old bridge once the new bridge is completed.

Although 24 months had been given for the completion of the bridge, the contractor says he will complete the bridge within six months of starting the work and handover it to the PWD.

The delay in completing the land acquisition near the proposed site for the bridge and the rains are learnt to have deferred the commencement of the construction of the bridge.

PWD sources said some encroachments near the proposed site of the bridge had been cleared already and the site will be handed over after completing land acquisition at the earliest.

The need for a new bridge was a long-standing demand of the local population. The ageing single-lane bridge is heavily overburdened with the current traffic volume accounting for more than double its load capacity. The narrow bridge is a traffic bottleneck on the busy Vazhuthacaud-Poojappura road.

The absence of a footpath in the bridge had exposed pedestrians to the risk of being run over by the passing vehicles. The demand to widen and reconstruct the bridge reached a high pitch after a school boy was crushed to death on the railings by a speeding KSRTC bus in 1998.