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Dreams unlimited, reality bites Hurdles over, bridge plan gathers steam

Come 2015, residents of the state capital frequenting Samastipur would have a dream drive along Bakhtiyarpur- Samastipur bridge.

Bihar State Road Development Corporation (BSRDC) has started work on the 5.5-km four-lane bridge to connect Bakhtiyarpur on the south and Samastipur on the north of the Ganges. The deadline for the project is August 2015. Land acquisition formalities for the bridge and its approach roads have been completed.

BSRDC is developing the project in a public-private partnership (PPP) mode with Hyderabad-based Navayuga Engineering Company Ltd. at an estimated cost of Rs 1,502.74 crore. The bridge would reduce the distance between Bakhtiyarpur and Samastipur from around 120km to 50.943km. Work on the bridge started in November last year. (See graphics)

“We have completed all formalities related to land acquisition for the construction of the bridge as well as its approach roads. Four central pillars of the main bridge have also been completed and we are working at full pace because the work might get stalled for a few weeks if the rainfall increases,” said a senior BSRDC officer.

The four-lane approach road to the greenfield bridge in the north of Ganga would run for 42.5km and end at Tejpur block in Samastipur district. Similarly, the bridge approach road in the south would run for 3.5km, starting from Athmalgola village near Patna. This bridge project encompasses 16 underpasses, two-toll plazas and two railway overbridges among other greenfield amenities.

National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is converting the existing Patna-Bakhtiyarpur National Highway 30 into a 50-km four-lane expressway. Most vehicles find passing through the existing Bypass a difficult proposition, whether it is during day or night. The Bypass remains chock-a-block because of traffic snarls.

“The state government has been unable to acquire 3.5km of land after nearly 3km towards the right of Didarganj Bypass. Work on the superstructure of Punpun bridge is on at full speed,” said a senior NHAI officer.