|Workers construct a guard wall (above) and pillars of Jumar bridge (top) being firmed up with bamboo support on Ranchi-Hazaribagh road on Thursday. (Prashant Mitra)
Commuters headed from Ranchi to Ramgarh via NH-33 can look forward to a smooth ride on Jumar bridge from next month.
Renovation of the very old, dilapidated 1km arterial link over river Jumar, which has turned into a mishap corridor, will be over by the end of this month and it will be thrown open to public from October. Around Rs 16 lakh is being spent on the project.
“We began work over two weeks ago and the target is to complete it by the end of this month,” said contractor Ramshankar Singh.
Asked to elaborate on the nature of tasks being undertaken, he said a guard wall of three feet had been erected on either side of the bridge.
“We will further beef up the wall by installing railings atop it so that it is at least four feet high,” he added.
Also, the width of the wall is being thickened.
“We are fortifying the wall with two layers of bricks. Earlier, there was only one brick layer. This apart, the bridge is also receiving a fresh coat of plaster. We have also filled up all the potholes to ensure a smooth ride for vehicles,” Singh added.
At present, the bridge is closed and Ramgarh-bound vehicles are taking the parallel road that is meant for traffic from the other side. Once it is ready, renovation work on the parallel lane will be taken up.
“The main bridge will be ready by the end of this month after which we will start work on the other lane that is used by vehicles coming from Ramgarh’s side,” he said.
As opposed to the bridge, the road does not need any major repair. “Strengthening of the guard wall and some amount of levelling is required,” Singh said.
The revamp project was the need of the hour as the bridge had turned extremely unsafe. Damaged walls, frail pillars and potholes too many gave vehicles a nightmare. The risk quotient doubled in the night in the absence of streetlights and increased flow of heavy vehicles. On an average, at least two accidents were reported per week on the bridge.
The area comes under Sadar police station and officers conceded that this stretch was a major mishap point.
“Once the bridge and the road are renovated, the number of accidents will automatically come down,” said an officer who is part of a patrol team in the area.
“The condition of the bri-dge had been ignored by the authorities for long. Its renovation was urgently required . Riding down the bridge was a risky affair, especially during the monsoon, as there was no proper guard wall. Then, there were speeding truckers who tend to overtake other vehicles,” said Sandip Mishra, a regular on the link.
Ramashish, an auto driver who plies on the route, said he had a close shave once.
“I was returning from BIT-Mesra at night when I almost met with an accident in the absence of any light on the bridge. The potholes added to my woes and I had lost grip on my vehicle,” he said.