THNAJVUR: Preliminary works to construct new bridges over the Grand Anicut (Pudhu Aaru) and Vadavaru Canal, which crosses the Gandhiji Salai thoroughfare, started on Wednesday. The old bridge over the canal was built around 90 years ago and was named the Irwin Bridge after the signing of the Gandhi-Irwin pact in 1931. Following an increase in traffic in the area, it was decided to build two bridges in the same place after the demolition of the old bridge.
“The length of the Grand Anicut Canal Bridge is 37 meters and two bridges need to be built to make it a four-lane,” a highways department official told TNIE. These bridges are to be constructed using the open foundation technique at a cost of 1.5 crore each. Work to create an access road for a new bridge began on Wednesday.
“Digging work for the foundation will begin within a week and construction will be complete before June when water is released into the Cauvery river system, including the Grand Anicut Canal,” officials said.
Simultaneously, construction works of two bridges over the Vadavaru at the northern end of Gandhiji Road in Karanthai region are also underway. The road, which is used by vehicles leaving Thanjavur town to places like Kumbakonam and Ariyalur, is very narrow. Therefore, it was decided by the Department of Highways to construct two bridges over the Vadavaru using the pile foundation technique. Construction work on these two new bridges will also be completed before June, officials said.
The length of these bridges would be 27 meters each and cost 1.5 crores each, the officials added. City buses and vehicles using this bridge would be diverted via the old Tiruvaiyaru Road connecting the East Gate area and Vennatrankarai. Intercity buses from Chennai and Kumbakonam would be diverted via the bypass road and enter the city via the Nagapattinam to Thanjavur road, sources said.