The junction beneath the Anna flyover, which is one of the defining landmark's of the city, is set to undergo some major changes.
If a proposal being considered by the Highways Department goes through, the Anna Circle intersection will be the first location in the city to have a double-decker (two levels) flyover. In order to facilitate through-traffic between Nungambakkam High Road and Radhakrishnan Salai, a flyover might come on top of the existing Anna flyover.
The design includes an entry ramp from Arcot Road (that leads to Kodambakkam) and a loop on to Anna Salai to facilitate traffic flow towards the Secretariat.
Anna flyover (earlier Gemini flyover), when it was inaugurated in 1973, was the first flyover in the city. Since an average of 20,000 vehicles/hour pass through the intersection beneath the flyover, a senior Highways Department official said that the time has to come to address the flow of traffic from roads perpendicular to Anna Salai.
“The plan is to seamlessly integrate all the straight traffic. However, since there is bound to be a lot of land acquisition impact, a detailed study is required,” he added.
A set of short-term measures aimed at reducing waiting time at the Anna Circle intersection are also under consideration.
The size of the existing roundabout will be reduced, or removed, and the statues will be relocated to allow right turns directly into Anna Salai. This will reduce the overall signal stoppage points required to cross the intersection from seven to three, according to a preliminary study by Chennai City Connect. It will result in a 40 per cent reduction in waiting time.
The study conceived “to justify investment in a solution,” found that the Anna Circle intersection costs the city Rs.2.7 lakh a day in petrol, human capital and ecological loss.
Raj Cherubal, coordinator, City Connect, an NGO working on improving traffic and transport conditions in Chennai, said, “The vision is to convert the ground level at the intersection into a pedestrian and walkers plaza with shuttle services operating to the nearest Metro station. All the car and two-wheeler traffic will be diverted through the overhead corridors.”