KOCHI: Come August and the city will have a new landmark - Kettuvallam Bridge on the Marine Drive walkway. The new bridge is being constructed on the extended walkway of the iconic Marine Drive. Standing on the new bridge, Kochiites as well as tourists would be able to feel the gentle breeze coming from the nearby Vembanad Lake. Already, Marine Drive has two bridges - the Chinese Net Bridge (Cheenavalapalam) and the Rainbow Bridge (Mazhavilpalam).
“We expect to complete the work and open the new bridge and the extended walkway of Marine Drive for public by August,” said N Venugopal, chairman, Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA).
“The walkway, which now ends near the High Court Jetty, is being extended up to the first Goshree Bridge taking the total length of the walkway to more than 1.5 kilometres,” he said. The bridge, which will be a replica of a ‘Kettuvallam’, is sure to be the new attraction of Marine Drive. “Also, there will be a restaurant on the bridge where visitors can have tea and snacks while enjoying the beauty of backwaters,” Venugopal said. He also said the walkway would be 15-metres wide. “Like an entrance to Marine Drive near Hotel Taj Gateway, there will be an exit near the Goshree Bridge,” he said.
He also said that 40 cents of land has been identified near the proposed bridge for setting up open-air restaurants. “No makeshift stalls or petty shops will be allowed on or along the walkway,” he said.
The GCDA, last Wednesday, had evicted vendors running petty shops on four-wheeler trolleys at the parking space in the Marine Drive ground near the Rainbow Bridge.