Restoration of Anna Arch is likely to commence in a day or two. Experts who worked on strengthening and restoring the Maraimalai Adigal in Saidapet and Kodambakkam bridges in the city have been roped in for the project. The estimates and drawings are being drawn up presently.

The arches are being repaired following the State Government’s decision to not demolish them to make way for a flyover at the junction of Poonamallee High Road and Anna Nagar 3 Avenue. The Highways Department had begun work to pull down the twin arches that were erected in 1985 to mark the platinum jubilee of former Chief Minister C.N. Annadurai.

“The repair work will be completed in a week, after which 15 days’ time will be allowed for curing the concrete. Till that time, traffic will not be allowed there,” said an official.

Presently, one arch is being held up by a crane. As soon as work begins, support will be given in the form of concrete blocks or steel strips and the shape of the arch will be maintained. The arch will also be given a fresh coat of paint.

The aim of the repair work is to reinforce the structure with steel rods and concrete before taking up outer ornamental work. “Similar kind of repair works have been carried out on Pamban Bridge too,” said an engineer who worked on the project. 

Seetha Vasudevan, a long-time resident of Anna Nagar, who now spends her time between India and abroad, wondered why the department decided to pull down the landmark structure in the first place. “They should have just widened the road there instead of building a new flyover. It would only dwarf the arch. I remember the inauguration. It was a grand occasion. Of course, the roads were emptier back then,” she said.

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