Cheruthoni: A cable-stayed bridge that could even lure tourists will replace the Cheruthoni bridge that was washed away as flood waters gushed down from the Idukki dam in August. The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has prepared a design for the bridge which connects the Thodupuzha-Puliuyanmala national highway.
Idukki MP Joyce George said the bridge, estimated to cost Rs 50 crore, will be completed within one-and-a-half years.
The bridge deck will be supported by cables fixed on two pillars. The two pillars symbolise the Kuravan-Kurathi hills which are connected by the arch dam.
The bridge will be 140 metres long and 16 metres wide. Walkways will be built on both sides. One-and-a-half metre wide tracks will be laid on both sides of the bridge for smaller vehicles.
Number of the pillars are limited to ensure free flow of water in case the dam has to be opened again.
Reservoirs are planned on both sides of the new bridge. Visitors will be offered facilities for boat ride.
The Mandovi bridge in Goa and the Bandra-Worli bridge in Mumbai are similar in design.
The current bridge, built half a century ago, was severely damaged in the flood when shutters of the Cheruthoni dam were lifted in August.
The iconic bridge hit headlines after visuals of a rescue officer running across it with an unwell child braving monstrous gush of water, when the sluice gates of the reservoir were opened went viral.