| The under-construction second bridge (right) over the Brahmaputra. Picture by UB Photos |
Feb. 5: Union minister for road transport and highways C.P. Joshi today said the city’s second bridge over the Brahmaputra would be ready by December 2014.
The bridge is being constructed around 40 metres south of the existing Saraighat bridge at a cost of Rs 238.34 crore by Gammon India Limited.
The bridge, which will connect the city’s south and north banks, is expected to reduce the pressure of traffic on Saraighat bridge.
Joshi said construction of the flyover at Jalukbari traffic intersection and widening of National Highway 31 are likely to be over by November this year.
The flyover at Jalukbari will touch the approach of the bridge and the existing roads. The flyover will be 243 metres long and have six lanes. Each three-lane carriageway will have separate foundations, substructure and superstructure.
Currently, commuters travelling on the snarl-ridden stretch from Jalukbari to the existing two-lane Saraighat bridge are facing a harrowing time. This problem will be solved when the new bridge is made and the development of the Jalukbari junction is complete.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh laid the foundation stone of the bridge in April 2007 and it was supposed to be operational by January 2010. But it has already been delayed by more than three years.
The second bridge is a part of the East-West corridor project. The total length of the East-West corridor in Assam is 670km, of which 639km is with the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI).
Till January this year, 431km of the East-West corridor has been completed, which includes four packages from Nagaon-Daboka-Lanka-Udali section.
According to an NHAI source, another 63km is expected to be finished by March 2013.
“Five more packages are likely to be completed by June 2013 and another three packages are likely to be completed by December 2014.
“All the problems being encountered in implementation of the East-West corridor have been resolved and work in all the packages are currently on in full swing,” the source said.
The NHAI was facing a host of problems during construction, including land acquisition trouble, obtaining forest and environment clearances and shifting of public utilities like telephone and electricity poles.
The Centre has cleared the conversion of the 178km stretch of National Highway 37 from Numaligarh to Dibrugarh into a four-lane road, said Joshi.
The Union minister also met chief minister Tarun Gogoi yesterday.