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Panic after crack on old Kollidam bridge
The crack on the old Kollidam bridge has caused serious concern among the public and the officials.
Not to take any chance, Collector K Rajamani along with a team of officials inspected one of the cracks on the old Kollidam bridge. The damage seems to have been caused by the heavy flow in the river.
The Kollidam bridge, a steel structure, was constructed by the British rulers in 1924. It crucial connect between No 1 Tollgate and Srirangam and was used by vehicles bound for Thuraiyur, Ariyalur, Salem, Perambalur and Chennai.
The 792-metre-long steel bridge corroded due to poor maintenance and one of the piers was damaged during the 2005 floods and thereafter it was declared unfit. The State government announced a new Napier bridge adjacent to the old one in 2014. It was inaugurated by the late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in 2016.
In such a situation, the grand old steel bridge had developed a crack in the 18th pier late on Wednesday night unable to withstand a heavy discharge of 87,000 cusecs from Mukkombu (Upper Anicut) to the Kollidam river.
On Thursday, officials, led by Collector K Rajamani, rushed to the spot and inspected the bridge. Since the condition of the bridge was deteriorating and with the flow continuing to be heavy, officials fear that it might collapse on the new bridge. As a precautionary measure, officials have advised public to keep away from the bridge.
Conveying that the officials were constantly monitoring the bridge’s condition, he appealed to the people not to panic. Later, ministers Vellamandi N Natarajan and S Valarmathi also inspected the bridge.