Construction of retaining wall to be completed in 10 days

The Highways Department will soon take up “junction improvement work” close to the old Cauvery bridge from where the road overbridge (ROB) currently coming up along the Cauvery banks at Odathurai takes off. With the height of the embankments on either side of the road being raised at the junction, road users have been inconvenienced as the stretch leading towards Anna Statue from the Cauvery bridge has narrowed considerably, especially in front of Satyam Hotel.

Vehicles entering the city come at a high speed along the four-lane Cauvery Bridge and have to make sudden adjustment at this point as the road space has been constricted. The traffic congestion at this junction takes many road users by surprise. “The Highways Department has to make sure to clear the bottleneck at the earliest before any accident occurs,” said R. Gopal, a city resident.

Sources in the Highways Department said that extensive improvements would be taken up at the junction once the retaining wall of the bridge was completed. The project provides for two traffic islands at the junction and the road height will be raised on a par with the Cauvery bridge nearby.

The work on the construction of the retaining wall is expected to be completed in the next 10 days. Besides, the junction improvement work requires thousands of tonnes of gravel and efforts are on to get it ready. The work will be started immediately after Pongal and completed within 10 to 15 days after getting permission from the district authorities to slow down traffic at the spot. The work will be carried out mostly at night without much inconvenience to road users.

Meanwhile, construction of the overbridge continues to be delayed due to an ownership dispute over a piece of land and the construction of the portion of the bridge on the railway land. The Railways had taken up construction of the bridge on its land but this component of the project is progressing slowly. The litigation (between an individual and the HR and CE Department) on a dispute over the ownership of a piece of land at the project site has also prevented the Highways Department from erecting a pile for the bridge on the city side. The Highways Department has impleaded itself in the case before the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court. The ROB will take at least another eight to 10 months for completion.