Visakhapatnam: Bridge expansion to free traffic gridlock

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Tests done at the site to find load-bearing capacity of soil.

Visakhapatnam: The city will be freed from the most rigid bottlenecks near Hanumanthawaka on the National Highway in the next few months as the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation will start the bridge widening work anytime soon. As the width of the bridge is less than the width of the National Highway, the road had turned into a traffic gridlock due to this bottleneck, particularly during the peak traffic hours. Tender work for the bridge has been completed.

The National Highway passing through the city is about 78 feet wide on each side while at the bridge, the carriageway is about 50 feet. According to the GVMC officials, soil testing has been conducted at the site to determine the load bearing capacity of the soil and other important parameters. “On either side, the bridge will be expanded by some four metres width. Consequently, the width of the bridge on one side will be increased to 78 feet while on the other side it will be 72 feet. The work is set to start soon,” said a GVMC engineering official.

With the city continuing to expand towards Madhurawada, Rushikonda and further north-eastwards, the piece of road was under high traffic pressure. Once the bridge expansion work is completed, the carriageway for the National Highway will become uniform allowing the movement of more than two vehicles at a time. The BRTS road leading to Simhachalam will also start from the same area leading to more congestion.

GVMC commissioner M. Hari Narayanan said the widening of the bridge was planned to free the area from the bottleneck of traffic. “The tender works were completed and we will soon start the execution phase,” said Mr Narayanan. When this correspondent visited the bridge site on Tuesday, some workers were seen carrying out repair works to the BSNL underground cables as the soil testing works cut off the cables. According to a BSNL employee, telephone and Internet services were hit in Visalakshinagar and will be restored after the works are completed.

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