For residents of villages near Madurantakam, the road overbridge on the Mambakkam Road will be a blessing once opened to traffic.
Access to hospitals, schools, shopping destinations and even entertainment spots for these residents is only through the railway gate LC 69 that has now been replaced.
According to A.R. Seshadri, chief archakar, Ramar Temple at Madurantakam, residents from villages including Mambakkam, Bhavanjur, Paiyyambadi, Vilvarayanallur, Arungunam, Devadhur, Kavadur and Veeranamkunnam use this level crossing.
“It is situated on the Mambakkam Road. If this road were not there, people have to take a circuitous route extending over 20 km to come here. Right now, though the bridge work has been completed, the gate is still open. The government must take steps to open the bridge as soon as possible,” he said.
E. Mani, a mechanic in Madurantakam, said the road is used by people working in places such as Chunnambedu, Kadalur, Kadapakkam and Puducherry. Fish from Kadapakkam is also brought through this route. “If the gate is closed, at least a 100 vehicles stand waiting for it to open again. Two-wheelers and pedestrians go below the gate. It is dangerous,” he said.
The highways department has finished the construction of the two-lane road overbridge completed at a cost of Rs. 25 crore. Of the Rs. 25 crore, Rs. 18.5 crore was spent on construction and the remaining went towards land acquisition and shifting of service lanes.
The work was initiated as part of the Southern Railway’s railway works programme in 2007-08 and the actual work began in November 2009 with ECCI being the contractor.
The Southern Railway has spent Rs. 3 crore on the construction of its 35 metre portion. Two staircases have been provided for pedestrians.
“All the works including painting, road marking and electrification have been completed. A formal date for the inauguration is likely to be fixed soon,” said a source in the highways department.