Mangaluru, Nov 09 2018: Gurupura bridge, built in 1923, and one of the oldest bridge across the Phalguni river on Nanthoor-Moodbidri-Karkala National Highway 169 connecting Mangaluru, is in a precarious condition and needs immediate attention. Public fears that the bridge might collapse soon.
Though expert team including senior officials from the National Highway Division of PWD and civil engineers examined the bridge and certified that the bridge is safe, public using it fear travelling on the bridge, looking at its condition.
The bottom portion of the bridge is rusted. The girders have weakened. The iron railings which on the bridge have disappeared. The bridge has not seen any maintenance for many years, said the locals.
The bridge looks dilapidated, thick shrubs grow around it and the narrow bridge cannot bear the burden of heavy vehicles. Only one bus or truck can pass over the bridge at a time.
“If two buses plying in opposite directions attempt to pass over the bridge, traffic is blocked. There is no space near the bridge to reverse or park vehicles, in case of traffic block,” the regular users stated.
Potholes are all along the bridge and only rare part patch work is done. Though Mangaluru-Moodbidri- Solapura stretch was upgraded as National Highway a few years ago, no measures have been taken to construct an alternative bridge across the river.
Now, the NHAI has planned to undertake construction of a bridge adjacent to the Gurupura bridge. However, the work is not yet in sight.