The wait for a bridge across the Cooum river seems to get longer for residents of Thiruverkadu who are left with a narrow causeway to reach Poonamallee High Road.

Though the work to replace the seven-metre-wide causeway with a bridge was started over a year ago, the delay in acquiring land for the project has slowed down the construction work.

Residents of Thiruverkadu recalled that the causeway across the river got damaged nearly 15 years ago. Every morning, residents endure the hardship of negotiating slowly-inching traffic on the congested causeway across the river to reach Velappanchavadi junction on Poonamallee High Road. The facility is the only route taken by residents of many fast-developing areas such as Thiruverkadu and Noombal.

Several schoolchildren vie for space with MTC buses on the congested causeway and often wait for a minimum of ten minutes to cross the facility during peak hours. Nearly 700-800 vehicles use the causeway every day.

P. Govindaswamy, a resident of Perumalagaram, said: “We cannot travel on the causeway when the river flows to its brim during the monsoon. We have to take a detour of at least three km via Madharvedu and Thiruverkadu or Rajankuppam and Ayanambakkam to reach Poonamallee High Road. If we take the causeway, it is only a distance of 300 metre.”

The work to construct a 96-metre-long and 12-metre-wide bridge was started by the State highways department. Of the six spans, work on five has been completed. The last one is waiting to be constructed as land is yet to be acquired. Access to the bridge on both the Thiruverkadu and NH5 sides could not be provided unless the land acquisition process is completed, officials said.

Nearly 70 per cent of the Rs. 4.5-crore project, funded under the Comprehensive Road Infrastructure Development Programme, has been completed so far.

The deadline of the project completion may be pushed further because of the delay in acquiring nearly 3,000 sq. m. of land. The bridge coming up across the river would be a two-lane facility with footpaths. The project is scheduled to be completed by November this year, an official said.

Sources in the revenue department of Tiruvallur district said the process of valuation of the land is on and the land would be handed over to the highways department in a month.

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