Heavy Traffic on Kundannoor-Thevara Bridge Spurs Demand for Doubling

Heavily congested Kundannoor-Thevara bridge on Wednesday
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KOCHI: The Kundannoor-Thevara bridge on NH 966B, a vital 1.75 km stretch, is facing severe traffic congestion and road deterioration due to heavy traffic, particularly from goods carriers and container lorries. This has led to growing calls from residents and local officials for the bridge to be doubled to alleviate the situation.

A Critical Emergency Highlight

The urgency of the issue was highlighted on Wednesday morning when a fire tender rushing from Thevara to Kundannoor got stuck in traffic. The vehicle was responding to a school bus fire but was delayed due to the congestion on the two-lane bridge.

“The fire engine simply couldn’t move ahead due to the traffic congestion. This is the case during an emergency like that of today’s. A main factor is the narrowness of the stretch and the numerous potholes that have resurfaced,” said Jayan B K, a local resident.

Local Authorities Demand Action

Maradu Municipality Chairman Antony Ashanparambil emphasized the need for immediate action from the PWD (NH Division) to double the bridge on NH 966B. “Doubling of the stretch has become essential now. The stretch witnesses huge traffic, especially that of heavy vehicles like container lorries. More container handling stations are coming up, including that of businessman M A Yusuff Ali. This means the volume of heavy vehicles is set to rise further. Land is not a major issue here as the PWD NH wing had already acquired more plots than needed during the two-lane bridge construction years back,” he stated.

Resident Associations Voice Concerns

The Ernakulam Residents Association Coordination Council (RACCO) has also called for an immediate solution to the heavy congestion on the Kundannoor-Thevara bridge. RACCO district secretary K G Radhakrishnan pointed out, “The Kundannoor-Thevara bridge is still a two-lane section, one of the few narrow bridges in the district. The doubling work should be taken up on a war footing. Even the Nettoor-Kundannoor parallel bridge is wider than the main bridge. This anomaly should be addressed immediately.”

NHAI’s Proposed Port Connectivity Corridor

In response to the ongoing issues, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has accelerated discussions with the Cochin Port Trust to resolve land issues and facilitate the implementation of the Port Connectivity Corridor project. This project, approved by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, aims to construct a six-km four-lane highway linking NH 66 with Willingdon Island.

“The corridor will start from Nettoor and run parallel to the existing NH 966B. However, the Port Trust is yet to agree to hand over the required land. Discussions are on and we’ve made some progress during the talks,” said a senior NHAI official.

The push for doubling the Kundannoor-Thevara bridge and the development of the Port Connectivity Corridor are crucial steps towards easing traffic congestion and improving road infrastructure in the region. As these projects move forward, residents and local officials remain hopeful for swift and effective solutions.

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