Very heavy vehicles to take alternative routes, new bridge to become two-way for others The National Highways Authority of India is constructing a deviation route near Kuloor flyover so that vehicles from Udupi to Mangaluru can take the flyover after crossing the new bridge with a two-way traffic pattern. Only after the deviation route is ready, the old arch bridge across Phalguni (Gurupura) River on National Highway 66 would be closed for very heavy vehicles, the NHAI said. The NHAI had been pleading with the district administration to close the old bridge, built in 1952, since it is unsafe. It has proposed to build a new, six-lane bridge between the existing two bridges as a part of the six-laning of the New Mangalore Port Connectivity Road, from B.C. Road to NITK, Surathkal. Deputy Commissioner S. Sasikanth on Tuesday passed a magisterial order prohibiting movement of heavy vehicles, including LPG carrying bullet tankers, on the old bridge. However, light motor vehicles will be allowed on the old bridge. The new bridge, which now takes traffic from Mangaluru to Udupi, will be made two-way for buses and other not-very heavy goods vehicles. Very heavy vehicles plying to and from Bengaluru have to take Padubidri, Karkala, Guruvayanakere, Dharmasthala and Periyashanthi route. Those to and from Kerala have to take KPT, Kavoor, Bajpe, Kana and Surathkal route, the DC said. Mr. Senthil told The Hindu that he has authorised a committee headed by Mangaluru Assistant Commissioner to execute the diversion scheme and given one week’s outer limit to complete the same. Diversion and closure would take place in phases, he added. Meanwhile, NHAI Project Director Z. Samson Vijay Kumar told The Hindu at present work has started to construct the diversion route in between the temple and flyover at Kuloor to allow vehicles coming from Udupi via the new bridge to take the Kuloor flyover. Once the work is over, closure of the old bridge for very heavy vehicles and making the new bridge two-way for other vehicles would be effected, he said. New bridge Mr. Vijay Kumar said the project office is awaiting clearance from headquarters to call tenders for the six-lane bridge, estimated to cost ₹75 crore.