Service lanes to be laid after land acquisition is completed

The new road overbridge (ROB) coming up across the railway level-crossing at Crawford in the city is likely to be thrown open for traffic by the end of this month.

Construction of the ROB has reached the final stage and currently, blacktopping of approach road is under way. However, laying of service lanes on either side of the ROB will take more time to complete as the land acquisition process is yet to be completed, sources in the Highways Department said.

“We will be completing the blacktopping work soon and plan to open the bridge for traffic before the end of this month,” a senior official of the Highways Department told The Hindu on Friday.

The project that commenced in April 2011, has been moving at a tardy pace, much to the resentment of thousands of residents of Crawford, Edamalaipattipudur, and several other colonies. Residents have been subjected to much hardship over the past two years on account of the closure of the Crawford road to facilitate the construction of the bridge that connects the railway junction and the Madurai highway. Commuters, including school children, have been forced to take a detour through a temporary alternative road via Anbu Nagar, and more importantly, they have been cut from the direct access to public transport.

The ROB was sanctioned at a cost of Rs. 28.58 crore, excluding the Railways’ contribution for the bridge portion over the level-crossing. About Rs. 5.50 crore was earmarked for land acquisition and shifting of utilities.

Welcoming the opening of the ROB, H. Ghouse Baig, a resident of Crawford and secretary, Golden Rock Branch of Consumer Protection Council, Tamil Nadu, however, appealed to the Highways Department to expedite work on building the service roads, and complete it at the earliest.