Barricades have taken over either side of the busy Aluva-Edappally NH 47 where work is on to widen the highway.
The dual-tone barricades — with the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation’s (DMRC) red and Kochi Metro Rail Limited’s (KMRL) blue-green logo — also adorn the road’s centre at places where L&T has engaged hydraulic rigs for building metro’s viaduct and stations en route.
The side barricading work will be over in a couple of weeks for levelling and tar coating road shoulders on either side. On Monday, excavators deployed by the KMRL were seen levelling shoulders with mud and gravel.
Commuters along the Aluva-Edappally NH 47 stretch will have to put up with traffic snarls for a couple of months more till newly-tarred portions are added to the carriageway.
Ever since barricading began, the pace of traffic movement has slowed down at many places. Overtaking slow-moving heavy vehicles and buses too has become a nightmare because of the decrease in width of the carriageway.
“The highway’s tarred portion is being widened by an average of 3.5 metres, since we insisted that four-lane traffic be ensured when eight metres at the centre is barricaded for metro’s civil works,” said NHAI’s Palakkad project director Ramanathan.
To a question on gaping potholes at many places, he said the KMRL must repair damaged portions since the stretch was handed over to them till metro work was over.
Most encroachments have been removed from the highway. Similarly, indiscriminate parking of vehicles on either side too is a thing of yore. “Once barricades at the centre are removed, the busy corridor will be wider by an average of 5.5 metres, ensuring faster movement of vehicles,” sources associated with the metro said.
On the possibility of bridges becoming bottlenecks when the highway’s centre is barricaded, a KMRL spokesperson said metro’s alignment would not pass too close to the bridges and hence would not pose hassles to traffic movement.
As to when the NH widening would be completed, sources said it would be done simultaneously with metro’s civil works.
New piling site
Piling began on Monday in front of the Apollo Tyres unit at Kalamassery to build a metro station. Around 15 workers are engaged at the site, where piling up to 20-metre depth is required.
Piling at the metro station proposed at Kaloor began about a month ago. The piles at metro stations will be deeper as compared to those for the viaduct.
Two pile caps have been completed at Aluva and one at Changampuzha Park, where piling began soon after metro’s works were formally inaugurated.
The land acquisition for the flyover and pair of bridges proposed at Edappally Junction has not been completed, despite chaos and congestion at the junction following the opening of a shopping mall.
The DMRC is slated to begin construction work once land is handed over.