Railway authorities co-ordinating with Highways Department to meet deadlines
The construction wing of the Southern Railway has embarked on a time-bound implementation of bridge works across six level crossings here at a cost of Rs. 91 crore, with Railways share in the spending being Rs.29.5 crore.
The railway authorities say they are coordinating with the Highways Department to meet deadlines for each of the bridges. Construction wing officials said total co-ordination with the State Highways would be ensured to avoid contractual failures and to prevent delays due to cost escalation.
Such efforts become significant in the backdrop of the inordinate delay in completing the bridges on Sungam Bypass Road (along Valankulam) and at Ondipudur on National Highways No. 67.
At present, the construction wing of the railways is on the job of completing its share of works relating to construction of an over bridge at the level crossing at Eachanari on the National Highway No. 209 at an outlay of Rs. 18 crore. Works for installing iron girders have been completed and concrete laying works have commenced. Once this is done, the State Highways will construct its share of the beams and lay the approach road. Authorities are confident of completing the works within the next 45 to 60 days.
Similarly, the Rs.20-crore work relating to the construction of a bridge at the Peelamedu – Cheran Maanagar road level crossing is also set to commence. The Railways is spending Rs.6 crore and the State Highways Department is spending Rs. 20 crore. The alternative route – temporary causeway for diverting the traffic during the bridge construction period – is said to be getting ready.
The other bridge works across the level crossings are Sulur – Muthugoundenpudur level crossing at a cost of Rs. 18 crore of which Rs. 13 crore will be by the State Highways Department.
Railways is confident of completing its share of beam construction and concrete laying works by April and simultaneous works by the State Highways Department for constructing its share of beams and approach road could ensure that the bridge is thrown open for traffic by June first week.
The bridge work at Madukkarai – Sundarapuram level crossing at a cost of Rs. 17 crore (State Highways share is Rs. 12 crore) is nearing completion as 90 per cent of the works are over. Authorities are planning to throw it open by February.
Similarly, 60 per cent of the works are said to be over in respect of the bridge at Nanjundapuram on the Podanur – Ramanathapuram Road. The bridge is coming up at a cost of Rs. 17 crore and authorities plan to complete it by March and throw it open for traffic latest by April 2012.
The construction of the bridge at the level crossing at Irugur, connecting the area with Tiruchi Road, is on at a cost of Rs. 21 crore. Authorities say they have completed nearly 35 per cent works. It may be opened by May or first week of June.
Two other bridges across level crossings that are facing delay owing to land acquisition process are the ones at Avarampalayam and Thaneerpandal. With the Coimbatore Corporation clearing the proposal for underpass and level crossings within the core city area, Coimbatore district is likely to become a district with the least number of level crossings over the next three to four years.
The ones that need serious attention are the level crossings at Sanganur Road and Podanur - Chettipalayam Road, in order to turn the district into a level-crossing free one.