The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has started preparing a detailed project report (DPR) for construction of a world-class eight-lane road bridge across Pamban Strait at an estimated cost of Rs. 1,250 crore to connect Rameswaram island with the mainland.

The bridge is coming up adjacent to the existing 2.345-km-long Annai Indira Gandhi Bridge. Bengaluru-based Feedback Infra Limited is preparing the DPR for the project.

Soil testing on land and in sea on the Mandapam side had begun and the DPR would be completed in two months, officials told
The Hindu
. The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways had sanctioned funds for the project and the work would begin soon after the completion of the DPR.

The officials said the NHAI had sought a report from Pamban Port office to determine the height of the bridge for navigation under it. The bridge would be built on the south side, and after covering the Pamban Strait portion, it would run on pillars for nearly one km on land on the Pamban side to ensure that the habitations were least affected, they added.

The bridge would be built on the lines of Bandra-Worli Sea Link cable-stayed bridge in Mumbai as part of the four-lane road project of the 39-km-long Paramakudi-Ramanathapuram section and 63-km-long Ramanathapuram-Rameswaram section, they said.

While the two-lane road in these sections was extended to four lanes, the bridge would have eight lanes, considering the future needs. The existing road bridge, which was more than 29 years old, would be used for light motor vehicles, they said.

The officials further said the NHAI had almost completed land acquisition for extending the four-lane road from Paramakudi to Ramanathapuram at a cost of Rs. 650 crore and would soon take up the work. It had now begun the process of land acquisition in the Ramanathapuram-Rameswaram stretch, they added.

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