The completion of the Katpadi old bridge project is delayed by two months as the cost of repair works escalated from the estimated cost by Rs 50 lakh. The project that was earlier estimated at Rs 4.50 crore and to be completed in four months by October end, is now expected to be completed only by December end. This delay is due to the revised estimate of Rs 5 crore, official sources revealed.
When questioned about the rise in the cost and delay in the completion of the work, officials said, “We worked only at night between 10 pm and 6 am. We replaced 290 bearings under the bridge. Another factor is that, the national highway experts from New Delhi, who examined the structure, asked us to use AAC (Autoclaved Aerated and Compressed) bricks, which though costlier than hollow blocks, were light in weight but equally strong and in addition each AAC brick were two feet long.”
The increase in cost was mainly due to the use of AAC bricks. Hence, the Vellore highways office had to forward a revised estimate to its Chennai headquarters. An additional amount of Rs 50lakh was received only recently and that was why there was a delay in the work, officials said and added, “The revised estimate is Rs 50 lakh more and hence the work’s estimate has now gone up to Rs 5 crore.”
Asked whether AAC bricks were available easily, officials said, the bricks were being procured from Arcot. “We used a total of 928 AAC bricks at 16 bricks per span for 29 spans on both sides,” they added.
Once completed in December, there would not be any trouble for the next 10 years, officials said, adding, “The bridge built in 1975 is being repaired only now and this is a proof of its longevity.”