Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is gearing up to complete Kochi Metro’s preparatory and civil works along MG Road within a year.
The 18-month time frame set earlier was altered to reduce hassles for commuters and shop owners along the city’s prime commercial corridor.
The work will commence after Onam, when Kochiites finish festive shopping, with the widening of narrow portions of MG Road.
The metro pillars occupy a 2.50-metre-wide space on the road. Widening works will provide a 7.50-metre-wide carriageway on each side of the road.
Once civil works along the corridor were completed by Onam next year, Madhava Pharmacy Junction-Woodlands Junction (located north of Jos Junction) stretch of MG Road would have become wider, DMRC sources said.
Widening work will be followed by construction of drains and utility ducts. Utilities will then be relocated to the ducts, after which viaduct construction will begin.
To avoid discomfort to commuters, the metro corridor along MG Road will be divided into two or three reaches.
“The preparatory and civil works will be done at one go in each stretch to minimise traffic diversion. All resources will be pumped in to ensure work along MG Road gets going,” sources said.
While buses might be diverted, motorists can easily bypass the 600-metre stretches, where work is on, by using side and parallel roads.
DMRC will organise a public awareness programme in July to reach out and communicate with road users, shoppers and shop owners.
“The full stretch of road will not be closed to traffic even for a single day,” sources in the agency said.
This Saturday and Sunday, traffic curbs will be imposed along MG Road’s western side – in between Padma Junction and Gopala Prabhu Road Junction.
The diversion will be from the early hours of Saturday to Sunday midnight. A 200-metre portion of the road will be barricaded to locate the position of utilities like water and sewage pipelines and cables.
Buses and other vehicles from Thevara, Vyttila bound for Madhava Pharmacy Junction must ply through Shanmugham Road. KSRTC buses towards Kaloor can use A L Jacob bridge, reach Kaloor-Kadavanthra Road and turn towards Kaloor.
They can return in the same direction. There will be no diversion for vehicles proceeding towards Thevara from Madhava Pharmacy Junction, the City Traffic Police have said.
A two-metre-wide trench will be cut across the road, to identify utilities and their alignment. The road will be restored by Sunday night using concrete and opened to traffic on Monday morning.
“Similar work will be carried out at KPCC Junction the next weekend, for which the western side of Jos Junction-Mullassery Canal Junction stretch will be barricaded,” a DMRC spokesman said.
Traffic would be diverted through Chitoor and Shanmugham Roads when work is on. The agency is unlikely to excavate the eastern side of the road if it locates the cables and water and sewage pipelines on the two weekends. Excavation had to be done since the KWA did not have drawings showing their location.
Most manholes were covered when the road was resurfaced. DMRC was unable to trace the utilities despite using ground-penetrating scanners.