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Now, a new rehabilitation plan for Cauvery bridge

The Highways Department would soon draw up a proposal for a new rehabilitation plan for the Cauvery bridge in the city.

A team of experts from the Highways Research Station in Chennai, which inspected the bridge earlier this week, would submit its recommendations soon. The rehabilitation-cum-beautification project taken up last year, especially the construction of a new concrete parapet, had raised the hackles of conservationists and brought to fore safety concerns.

The Highways Department has taken up the project to spruce up the nearly four- decade-old structure. Over the years, parts of the bridge, especially its parapet and pedestrian pathway, have suffered damages. The bridge, a vital link in the city between Chinthamani and Mambazhasalai, was built in 1976. It has 15 spans and runs for a length of about 550 metres.

Conservationists and engineers had contended that the construction of a solid brick wall in place of perforated concrete structure (with gaps) was not only an eyesore but a safety threat as well. The perforated structure was meant to allow wind or flood waters to pass through, they said.

Besides, the Cauvery bridge was a pride and a landmark in the city and its aesthetic value should be preserved, they had argued. Representations were sent to the district administration and Highways Department.

The Highways Department has since planned to rectify the shortcoming and restore the perforated structure.

Meanwhile, the experts who inspected the bridge and the parapet on a request from the Highways Department officials here also examined whether renovation needs to be taken up to prevent erosion around the piers.

“The team will give its recommendations within a couple of weeks and based on which a proposal will be drawn up to renovate the bridge,” a Highways Department official told The Hindu . The structure as such was stable and safe, the officials affirmed.


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