Udupi, Sept 26: A huge crack has appeared on the newly built bridge across River Souparnika at Arate village in Kundapur taluk of Udupi. According to eyewitnesses, broken steel rods were visible through the gap.
After the construction of the new bridge, vehicles travelling from Byndoor to Kundapura were allowed to travel on the new bridge and those travelling from Kundapur to Byndoor on the old bridge. In the wake of the cracks on the new bridge, two-way traffic has now been arranged on the old bridge.
“Kundapura police restricted vehicular movement on the new bridge (carriageway from Karwar to Udupi) and diverted the vehicles on the old bridge at Arate-Hosadu,” said Police Inspector Gopikrishna.
The nearly 1-km-long bridge was built during the four-lane work of national highway 66 between Kundapura and Goa border.
IRB West Coast Tollway Pvt. Ltd., a subsidiary of IRB Infrastructure that undertook the project in 2014 on BOOT basis, is yet to complete the four-lane work.
Residents along the highway stretch had been alleging substandard work in the execution of the project from the very beginning.
It was in 2011 that the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) proposed the widening and upgrading of the existing NH 17 (renaming it as NH-66). It was meant to reduce traffic, fuel consumption and accidents, and save time.
It was also claimed that the construction of the highway would bring development in all areas it passed through and led to economic growth of the region.