|The dilapidated and potentially dangerous 80-year-old bridge spanning the Korapuzha River, considered to be the lifeline connecting Kozhikode city to Koyilandy and Vadakara on the old National Highway 66, will soon be demolished. A new bridge will be constructed in its place.|
The State government has given administrative sanction for an outlay of ₹28 crore for the construction of a new bridge with bowstring arch girder with Macalloy suspension. The technical sanction for awarding the work, including the demolition of the existing bridge, will be issued within two to three days, K. Vinayaraj, executive engineer, Public Works Department (National Highway), told The Hindu.
He said that the Kerala Road Fund Board had channelised the funds through the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB). The decision to construct a new bridge was taken after the bridge became unmotorable and inadequate to handle the voluminous vehicular traffic.
The existing 224-metre bridge will be demolished in such a way that the flora and fauna of the river are not affected. Modern mechanism will be adopted so that no part of the demolished structure falls into the water, he added.
Mr. Vinayaraj said that the proposal was to construct a 7.5-metre bridge with footpaths. The existing bridge, which is only 5.5 metres has no footpaths, and hence hazardous to pedestrians. The new bridge will have a pile foundation. The construction work is expected to begin in August and will be completed within 18 months.
Constructed during the British era, the bridge used to be frequently closed to vehicular traffic for repair work. Moreover, the dilapidated state of the bridge is attributed to plying of heavy vehicles. Often, the delay in reopening the bridge after repair work had led to law and order problems as commuters had to use alternative routes including the Kuniyilkadu bridge. However, the opening of the Kozhikode Bypass connecting Vengalam to Ramanattukara has helped in easing traffic. The bypass will thus become an alternative route till the bridge is opened to traffic.