The new steel bridge across Tungabhadra, connects Raichur in Karnataka and Mantralayam in Andhra Pradesh.
The bridge was built by the Karnataka Road Development Corporation Limited (KRDCL), a Government of Karnataka undertaking. This structure was necessitated after floods washed away the old bridge in October 2009. The bridge is made of steel and it is built using German knowhow. Not many know that this is the first ever steel bridge in Karnataka.
The bridge has fifteen spans and it is 600 metres long. It is 12 metres wide and it can accommodate heavy traffic too. Work on the bridge had begun in 2010 after the Karnataka Government invited tenders. The bridge construction project was awarded to Hyderabad-based GVR Infrastructure Company. Work was delayed due to Government bottlenecks and also due to high waters in the Tungabhadra.
The total cost of the bridge is Rs. 43 crores. The bridge, apart from connecting Raichur to Mantralaya has provided better connectivity between Raichur and Bellary, Adoni and Kurnool .
The bridge was formally opened to traffic by the Karnataka Chief Minister, Jagadish Shettar, on September 10, 2011.
The road link between Raichur and Mantralaya in Andhra Pradesh was cut off since October 2009 following the collapse of the old bridge across the Tungabhadra. The old bridge was constructed in 1969. The Karnataka Government then constructed a temporary road made of gravel on the river-bed connecting Raichur with Mantralaya. However, this road was not of much help and the traffic on this stretch was frequently disrupted. The North East Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NEKRTC) withdrew its services to Mantralaya, Adoni, Kurnool, Anantapur and Bellary. Their buses operated till Gillesugur village on the banks of the Tungabhadra in Raichur taluk. From Gillesugur, people used to cross the river to reach Mantralaya either by using he gravel road or in teppas or circular boats.
The gravel bridge or temporary bridge as it was called was nothing but a death tarp. Accidents were frequent and even several deaths have been reported. On June 3, 2012, four persons heading to the Raghavendra Swamy temple in Mantralaya from Raichur died..
The new bridge today is a boon to the residents of Mantralaya, Madhavaram, Pathikonda and adjoining villages of Kurnool district as they frequently visit Raichur, sometime several times in a day, to meet their medical and other daily needs. Raichur is the nearest city for them with a lot of modern amenities, including schools. colleges, hospital and industries. Many people from these places travel daily to Raichur where they are employed. Similarly, people from Yelebicchali, Hanumapur, Talmari, Chikkamanchali and other villages of Raichur district are dependent on the Mantralaya Road Railway Station, which is the hub of commercial activity in the region.