Demand to build a wider underpass beneath Vytilla bridge
The district administration has mooted a ‘portal-frame structure flyover’ to decongest Vyttila, the biggest and busiest junction in the State.
Bearing a close resemblance to a clover-leaf structure, its advantage is that there is no need for pillars at the centre of the road.
By blending a group of loops and ramps, the four-way interchange will ensure steady flow of vehicles at the junction. Such a structure is expected to be sufficient to meet the traffic flow for the next 50 years.
It can be completed in three phases, says a press release.
The estimated project cost has not been specifically mentioned. The project can be executed with minimal land acquisition, the communiqué says.
In phase one, a conventional six-lane flyover is built along the NH Bypass at the junction. Two-loop and free-flow intersections will follow in the second and third phases. The proposal is the brainchild of District Collector Sheikh Pareeth, a civil engineer, who consulted experts in the field and readied the drawings.
“Vehicles will access the flyover through loop ramps on the four sides, while free left turns provided on the side of the loops can be used to access roads on all sides. Smaller replicas of this can be tried out with minor alterations at other junctions on the National Highway.
“Once the three phases are ready, signals can be done away with at the junction,” Mr Pareeth said. The other proposals that were mooted to decongest the junction included one by NHAI to build a big flyover along the bypass by acquiring land.
A plan submitted by KITCO speaks of two smaller flyovers, each located about 50 metres away from the junction that will carry vehicles moving along the highway. Vehicles in the east-west direction can cross the junction through underpasses on the northern and southern sides. Its advantage is that there is no need for land acquisition.
Demand for respite
In the meantime, the demand is rife to provide temporary relief to motorists, by optimally utilising service roads and the underpass beneath Vyttila bridge. This initiative will also cater to the additional influx of vehicles into Vyttila when Ponnurunni overbridge is opened to traffic in June.
The sole bottleneck is the narrow underpass built by the NHAI, which does not even have the width for two cars to pass by each other.
A retired deputy chief engineer of FACT, Ittoop Mampilly said that this problem can be overcome if a wider underpass is built in between the existing underpass and the railway line. There is ample space for this. “The project can be executed for less than Rs.75 lakh.”
He suggested that vehicles on the SA Road-Tripunithura stretch turn left towards Ponnurunni, enter the service road and cross over to the opposite side through the bridge’s underpass.