After an extended weekend, office-goers and other road users in north Chennai encountered a closed arterial stretch at Basin Bridge and traffic snarls in and around Vyasarpadi on Tuesday.

The reason — Basin Bridge Road, which was closed to traffic on Saturday for the Highways department to take up works to repair the badly damaged subway stretch, remained blocked.

Traffic modifications had been planned from 11 p.m. on October 12 till 6 a.m. on October 14 to enable the Highways to repair the stretch and take up white topping. But the traffic modifications were in place even on Tuesday as the department wanted the white topping to set in, said traffic police personnel.

Sources said the road will be opened for vehicular traffic only on Thursday. Meanwhile, traffic police have allowed some motorists to use the stretch. “For the last two days, there has been traffic congestion due to closure of the stretch. Most of the vehicles have been diverted through the Ganeshapuram railway subway. We have begun permitting two-wheelers on this stretch. Wednesday is a government holiday for Bakrid. So, we do not anticipate heavy vehicular traffic on the stretch,” a traffic police officer said.

The road beneath the railway bridge has been in a badly damaged state for several years now. “Temporary patch work is done during rains,” said a source. The work has been taken up at a cost of Rs. 10 lakh.

He said the department had also taken up works for cleaning and de-clogging the stormwater drain at the subway to prevent waterlogging during rains. Steps have been taken to see that the road is slightly sloped so that the water drains into the channel.

For residents, the traffic hassles were compounded by the huge amounts charged by autorickshaws. Citing traffic diversions, many of them demanded anywhere between Rs. 150 and Rs. 200 to take passengers from Central Railway Station to areas located beyond Basin Bridge including MKB Nagar and Kodungaiyur.

“I had to pay Rs. 200 to reach MKB Nagar. Usually, the rate is anywhere between Rs. 100 and Rs. 120. Auto drivers refused to bargain as they had to take a detour via Pulianthope High Road and then, the Ganeshapuram subway,” said Raman, resident.

The flow of traffic was affected at several places including Pulianthope High Road.

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