Though three months have passed since the approach road of the bridge between Bolgatty and Vallarpadom was damaged, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) officials are yet to take proper steps to rectify the matter.
The bridge, which was thrown open for container lorries in November to remove the traffic bottlenecks in the stretch, was damaged a few days later owing to loosening of concrete slabs. The bridge has been closed ever since.
District Collector P I Sheik Pareeth who had sought an inquiry said the NHAI has failed to conduct a proper follow up till date. “The traffic was immediately suspended and we had also asked the NHAI not to allow any vehicles through the bridge. Meanwhile, they are yet to start taking the required step,” he said.
As per the initial reports, the NHAI officials said the approach road had sunk owing to the loosening of the slab connecting the road to the bridge. Since the bridge, just like any other Goshree bridges, is constructed on marshy terrain, there are possibilities of dislocation. Such bridges require sufficient time for the clay to settle, NHAI experts said.
Also, this newly constructed bridges unlike the others have been connected by a slab. Currently, technical experts have proposed the need to extend the bridge to avoid any future mishaps.
NHAI project director C T Abraham was unavailable for comments. Meanwhile, sources said that if the bridge is commissioned soon, it would remove the traffic bottlenecks in the area, especially since container lorries frequently travel through the route.
Complaints on the Goshree bridge
Due to the marshy terrain on which the bridges are built, slow sinking of the area between the approach road and the Goshree bridges is frequent. “Humps on the entrance of these bridges are dangerous to motorists, especially two-wheeler drivers who use the route during nights,” said a commuter.