Bridge works likely to be delayed

By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Oct 8: Construction of Barak and Makru bridges which are two key bridges of NH 37 (Imphal-Jiribam highway) are most likely to be further delayed.
Notably, the two bridges are being constructed by BIPL under NHIDCL as implementing agency with funds provided by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH).
As per the work order, the two bridges should be completed by April next year.
However sources in NHIDCL informed that the bridge construction works would be delayed beyond the stipulated period although they would be completed within next year.     Although the State’s overall law and order situation has improved significantly, there have been frequent disturbances in construction of Barak and Makru bridges as well as in the maintenance work of Imphal-Jiribam highway, said the sources.
Moreover, the bridge construction works and highway maintenance works are being impeded by excessive rise in the volume of traffic.
On account of these factors, completion of Barak and Makru bridges would be delayed by sometime notwithstanding the people’s wish to see them completed as soon as possible, said the sources.
Nonetheless, if one takes into account different works to be taken up, NH 37 will be certainly transformed into a very good highway after a couple of years, according to the sources.
At the moment, works done on the highway is limited to maintenance part. Yet, there are plans to upgrade the highway to a four-lane highway, re-align it and bore tunnels at extreme corners. A DPR has been already prepared for this project.
As a mega project is in pipeline, MoRTH does not like to invest huge amounts in the ongoing maintenance works, said the sources.
On the other hand, multiple growth in traffic volume  following marked improvement in the highway’s condition has turned to be a serious factor for wearing out the highway and frequent break down of its bridges, according to the sources.
Tender process for construction of a new Irang Bridge with RCC is nearly complete.
Vehicles travelling from Imphal cross two bailey bridges after crossing Makru bridge and these bailey bridges have been causing severe difficulties to vehicles during the past few days. However, if construction of the new Makru Bridge is completed, vehicles would not need to cross the two bailey bridges.
Most of the bailey bridges of NH 37 have been replaced with RCC bridges. The remaining bailey bridges too would be replaced by RCC bridges one by one, said the sources.