Offering a smooth drive for motorists on the Kozhikode-Kannur National Highway, the reconstructed Korappuzha bridge was thrown open to vehicular traffic on Wednesday. G. Sudhakaran, Minister for Public Works, inaugurated the bridge, which was one of the major projects to address the traffic congestion on the route.
Public Works Department officials said the bridge construction work included in the Kerala State Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) was completed by the Uralungal Labour Contract Cooperative Society (ULCCS) at a cost of ₹26 crore. The old bridge constructed in 1940 was in a very dangerous condition which prompted the government to complete the new project on fast track, they said.
According to PWD officials, the spacious footpaths with one-and-a-half-metre width on either side of the bridge were one of the major attractions of the new project.
Other than offering safety, it would offer a good chance to the pedestrians to enjoy the beauty of the riverside, they said.
The narrow approach road was a major hurdle in the case of the old bridge which was addressed properly during the construction of the new bridge with seven spans.
Apart from many service roads, new spacious approach roads on either side were also constructed, maintaining a 150-metre length, offering a smooth entry for vehicles.
Streetlights were also erected in such a way as to ensure a scenic look to the bridge.
It was on December 29, 2018, that the foundation stone for the new bridge was laid by Mr. Sudhakaran. One of the major tasks to start the reconstruction work was the demolition of the old bridge which was completed within six months. Traffic on the Kozhikode-Kannur national highway was diverted via Pooladikkunnu. A temporary walkway was also constructed across the river to facilitate the movement of pedestrians.
Apart from the construction of the bridge, the road between Pavangadu and Elathoor was renovated as part of attempts to convert it as the city’s first accident-free zone.
All illegal make-shift sheds and shelters were cleared as part of the road widening process. Better pavements and waiting shelters for bus passengers were constructed along the route using the road safety fund.