After missing several dates of its opening, the first phase of the new cable-stayed Zuari bridge was thrown open for vehicular traffic by Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday evening.
The bridge is expected to provide big relief to motorists who had to bear the ignominy of getting caught in traffic jams between Agassaim and Cortalim on several occasions.
The bridge project is part of a Rs 2,530-crore road project covering a distance of 13.2 kilometres between Bambolim and Verna villages.
The bridge is also the second-largest cable-stayed bridge in India, first being Mumbai's Bandra Worli sea link.
On Thursday morning after his arrival at the Dabolim airport, Union Minister Gadkari expressed joy on the completion of the bridge and said the inauguration was a Christmas gift to Goans.
During the inaugural address, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each to the families of three workers who died during the construction of the bridge.
The CM also said that the beautiful revolving restaurant on top of the new Zuari bridge tower will come up soon.
Remembering late CM Manohar Parrikar during the inauguration ceremony of the Atal Setu bridge on Mandovi river, he said that the late CM had transferred his josh to Goans and that has helped BJP to form the government in Goa for the third time.
Gadkari said after Parrikar made a case for a new bridge over river Mandovi, he had promised the late leader that the project will be built and the Atal Setu was constructed by utilising funds from the Centre and was opened in the presence of Parrikar.
Gadkari further said the efforts of the engineers and technical staff have resulted in six world records for building bridges. "I will be building 13 bridges over the river Ganga and 8 bridges over the river Bramhaputra by using new technology," he affirmed.
He also mentioned that during the Covid pandemic much of the new bridge work got delayed, but later due to the efforts and hard work put in by the workforce, the project was completed.