Structure will be 11 metres wider; traffic flow in merged areas will be eased

Residents of southern parts of the city may soon have a hassle-free ride on ECR Link Road, which connects Rajiv Gandhi Salai with East Coast Road, as the bridge under construction will be thrown open for traffic by May-end.

The ECR Link Road is vital as it connects traffic between Sholinganallur and Akkarai. The construction of the bridge is part of a major project taken up to improve south Buckingham canal under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission. One portion of the bridge meant for traffic from Sholinganallur to Akkarai was opened recently. As construction of a separate carriageway is underway for incoming traffic from Akkarai to Sholinganallur, traffic proceeding to both Rajiv Gandhi Salai and ECR are being allowed on the same bridge.

The existing 40-metre- long and 8-metre-wide bridge across the canal was widened to a 100-metre-long and 19-metre-wide facility. The Water Resources Department has undertaken the project worth a total of Rs.78 crore.

Each of the carriageways will have two lanes. Residents of Sholinganallur and Karapakkam said that the authorities concerned must complete the project, which was started nearly two years ago, soon. V. Bhuvaneshwari, a resident of Sholinganallur said that many people from Kottivakkam and Neelankarai use the ECR link Road to reach offices on Rajiv Gandhi Salai. Once the entire work on bridge is completed, heavy vehicles too could avoid the accident-prone ECR.

Residents of areas along ECR are already using this road to reach Tambaram. They otherwise have to take a detour up to Thiruvanmiyur to go to Tambaram. Zebra crossings must be provided for pedestrians who are often at risk of being caught in accidents, she said.

Officials of the WRD said that the bridge is being widened to allow free flow of water on the canal, which is being broadened up to 100 metre. Both the carriageways would have a footpath of 2 metre width. About 80 per cent of the project to deepen and desilt the canal bed and also construct flood protection wall along the 13-km stretch of the canal between Okkiyam Maduvu and Muttukadu would also be completed simultaneously.

The Tamil Nadu Road Development Company must also widen the road for the benefit of the motorists.

The work to deepen, desilt the canal bed and the construction of a retaining wall in the 13-km stretch from Okkiyam Maduvu to Muttukadu will also be completed by the end of the year. Flooding during monsoon may come down in several areas along the Rajiv Gandhi Salai when the waterway’s carrying capacity is doubled from its present 5,000 cubic feet per second.

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