Mangaluru, June 05, 2019: The old arch bridge at Kuloor on National Highway 66 has been banned for heavy vehicles movement, across the Phalguni river (Gurupura). The structure was found to be unsafe after the consultants, engaged by the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, declared that the bridge to be weak and unstable.
The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), in its report submitted to the district administration on September 27, 2018, had urged the district administration to prohibit the movement of heavy vehicles on the old bridge.
The DK DC in a recent order, has prohibited the movement of heavy vehicles on the bridge under Motor Vehicles Act 1988 Section 115 and Section 221 A(5) of Rules of Motor Vehicles Act 1989.
Two-way traffic : Presently, all bullet tankers from Udupi to Bengaluru and Bengaluru to MRPL-Udupi should pass through Padubidri-Karkala-Guruvayanakere-Dharmasthala-Kokkada-Periyashanthi.
All the bullet tankers from Kerala to Udupi should pass through KPT-Kavoor-Bajpe-Kana-Surathkal. Two- way traffic is opened on Kuloor new bridge for the movement of lorries, buses and tankers.
Light vehicles : Light motor vehicles (LMVs) like cars, jeeps, autorickshwas and two-wheelers can ply on the old arch bridge, DK DC Sasikanth Senthil said. The DC added that the NHAI Project Director was asked to install necessary signboards on alternative routes, to create awareness for motorists.
The city police commissioner and SP have been asked to deploy police personnel to manage traffic.
Traffic from Udupi to Mangaluru has been plying on the old arch bridge. Now, the NHAI has proposed a new six-lane bridge between the two existing bridges.
The arch bridge was constructed in 1952. According to the report submitted by consultants to NHAI, the old bridge’s capacity had reduced to 30 tonnes with vehicle speed restricted to 15-20 kmph. All steps will be taken to prevent any catastrophe.