The eight-metre long Puthan Palam across Valiyanapuzha, on the Vaikom-Alappuzha route, is in a precarious condition.
The damage suffered by one of the girders of bridge, which connects Thalayazham and Vechoor panchayats, was spotted by residents of Vechoor Panchayat on Saturday. Locals, on initial inspection found damage on the tarred surface. A closer examination revealed that the structure was unsafe. Vaikom MLA K Ajith along with officials of the revenue department, the police and the PWD visited the spot. As instructed by the PWD engineers, vehicle carrying heavy loads were banned from entering the bridge. Local residents were of the opinion that the speedy movement of load-carrying tipper lorries, through the 66-year-old bridge, has weakened its structure. The bridge was built in 1947. Bus passengers are now asked to alight before the vehicle crosses the bridge and only single line traffic is being permitted.
“I have informed PWD minister about the danger posed by the damaged bridge. A team of experts from roads and bridges department are expected to visit the structure. They will decide whether repairing works can be done on the bridge. “Anyway, a new bridge needs to be built over the river, considering the huge traffic on the route,” K Ajith said.
The span of the bridge has been built with concrete beams on both sides and at the centre portion there are eight beams made of steel.
Barricades have been erected to restrict the movement of vehicles, on the western side of the bridge, as directed by PWD engineers.