Union Minister Nitin Gadkari will today virtually inaugurate a six-lane bridge linking Patna and Ara over the Sone river in Bihar’s Koelwar.
Construction of the 1.52-km bridge, costing Rs 266 crore, began in July 2017, and the project will allow better connectivity between Patna and Ara to reach Sasaram, Bhabhua and Uttar Pradesh towns with the old iron railway-cum-road bridge at Koelwar withering fast. Work has been completed on three lanes and the remaining portion is likely to be opened to traffic by June next year, officials said.
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar and Union Minister of State General (retired) V K Singh will also be present on the occasion, besides Deputy CMs Tarkishore Prasad and Renu Devi.
The Koelwar bridge that runs parallel to the new bridge was constructed in 1862 and has long been infamous for traffic jams with police permanently deployed on either side of the bridge to regulate traffic. It is among the two iron bridges of Bihar, including the Rajendra Setu over Ganga linking Mokama and Begusarai.
The new bridge has been constructed as part of the ongoing Patna-Ara (NH-30) four-lane process. It would allow easy traffic movement between South and Central Bihar and eastern UP. Road traffic to Delhi would also be smoother with the Patna-Ara-Buxar and NH-84 (Ara-Buxar) getting connected to Lucknow-Ghazipur Expressway.
A Bihar road construction department official said, “The old bridge would be used for one-way traffic for vehicles coming from Patna while the new bridge would be used for vehicles coming from Ara for hassle-free traffic. The second-lane of the new bridge would be fully ready by June 2021.”