New bridge at Bellecharu soon

An estimate of Rs 1.65 crore has been sent to Ministry for approval

Speaking to Deccan Herald, National Highways Executive Engineer Krishne Gowda said that the estimate is likely to be okayed by this month end. “Once the estimate is approved, we will call for the tender which will be finalised and the work may commence either by the end of December or January,” he said.

He said the proposed new bridge will come up on the same place where the old bridge existed. A portion of the bridge had caved in, on August 16, 2011 due to heavy rain that lashed the region. The proposed bridge will be 12 metre wide and 5 metre high from the original bridge. The old bridge was made of laterite stones and was nine metre wide and 4.60 metre high.

The width of the carriage way was 4.25 metre and was a one way bridge. The connecting road to the bridge was 5.50 metre wide. The left side of the bridge had developed cracks and laterite stones had fallen. As there was a possibility of mishaps, if the vehicles were allowed to ply on the bridge, the movement of vehicles on the mini bridge was banned and the authorities had constructed a temporary bridge on a private land at Bellacharu, to facilitate the movement of the vehicles. Without the bridge, the vehicle users had to use Sampige-Ashwathapura-Mijar-Daddi route, forcing the vehicle users to use eight kilometre more to reach Mangalore.

It may be recalled that the traffic movement on Sholapur - Mangalore National Highway 13 between Bellecharu-Mijar was diverted from August 19 to September 18 following a partial damage in the bridge at Bollichar near Edapadavu, to facilitate the construction of temporary bridge. Once the temporary bridge was constructed on a private land, the vehicle users constinued to use the temporary bridge.

The Nagarika Hitharakshana Vedike had staged a protest pressing the authorities to start the work on the bridge at the earliest on Tuesday. They feel that the temporary bridge is not free from problems as it has a curve and narrow resulting in block during peak hours.

In fact, the National Highway officials had sent a proposal of Rs 1.10 crore for a bridge at Bellacharu in 2006. However, the proposal did not see the light till the old bridge caved in.

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