Facelift for Saidapet bridge
Fresh coat of paint and new grills planned
The Maraimalai Adigal Bridge at Saidapet across the Adyar will soon be renovated at a cost of ₹43 lakh. Tenders have been called for works that include painting, completion of footpath and installation of grills on top of the parapets.
Sources in the Highways Department said the contractor would have three months time to complete the works being carried out with funds from the Adyar River Restoration Project.
“We will be installing stainless steel grills to ensure pedestrian safety since the height of the footpaths have gone up. Painting and beautification have been necessitated since the Chennai Metro has also completed its work near the bridge,” said an official. Portions of the footpath near the Panagal Building that houses government offices and on the Taluk Office side too will be completed. Only recently, encroachments from under the bridge were removed by the Public Works and Revenue departments.
“Encroachments weaken the structure and don’t allow free flow of water. We keep removing encroachers but they seem to come back. Sometimes we also find cattle sheds underneath. At one point of time, we came across air conditioners too,” explained another official.
A former Highways engineer said that while regular painting and maintenance were necessary to ensure the health of the bridge, bed protection works too should be carried out. “There is regular water flow under the bridge and that would wash away the silt and the sand from beneath. The bed protection works would ensure safety of the structure’s foundation,” he explained.
A makeover: Bed protection works too should be carried out at the bridge, a former engineer said.