After a wait of almost five decades, the Alappuzha bypass road will be opened to traffic on January 28, Public Works Minister G. Sudhakaran has said.
It will be inaugurated jointly by Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at 1 p.m.
The 6.8-km two-lane bypass road, passing through the western side of NH 66, will link Kommady in the north to Kalarcode in the south. One of the major feature of the bypass is a 4.8-km stretch of elevated highway that passes by the Alappuzha beach. Of the 4.8 km elevated highway, 3.2 km is flyover.
The bypass is expected to bring relief to Alappuzha town, which has been witnessing traffic bottlenecks on its arterial roads for several years now. With the new road, the town will be able to breathe a little easier. It will also ensure smooth movement of traffic between the State capital and Ernakulam and beyond.
The project comes to fruition after a wait of nearly five decades. Although mooted in the 1970s, it had remained on paper until the work got underway on April 10, 2015. The project, which was set to be completed in September 2017 got delayed further on account of various reasons, including getting permission from Railways to place girders over the railway track as part of the construction of two rail overbridges (ROBs) at Malikamukku and Kuthirapanthy.
After inspecting the girders brought for the construction of the ROBs, the Railways had recommended structural changes. Following this, necessary changes were made in the girders of both the ROBs. Later, the Railways granted permission to place the girders at Malikamukku in January 2020 and the nod for the work at Kuthirapanthy was received in June.
The project has been implemented at a cost of ₹344 crore with equal shares borne by the Union and State governments. Besides, the State government spent an additional ₹25 crore for developing Kalarcode and Kommady Junctions, installing street lights among other works.
Earlier, in November 2020, the State government received a message from the Centre informing the Prime Minister’s desire to inaugurate the Alappuzha bypass road. Mr. Sudhakaran said the State government had waited for two months to get the Prime Minister’s date. After the Prime Minister informed about his inconvenience, Mr. Gadkari promised to launch the project.