Residents of some north Chennai localities may soon have an alternative route to avoid traffic jams on congested roads.
The Water Resources Department (WRD) has started preliminary work to lay a road along the north Buckingham canal for a stretch of nearly 11 km.
Once the new road is laid, residents will be able to avoid getting stuck in traffic, particularly on Manali Expressway and Ennore High Road.
Residents of areas such as Korukkupet and Tiruvottiyur can travel to other parts of the city faster.
The department is carrying out the Rs. 9-crore work under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission. The road will be laid on stretches of Bharathi Nagar, Korukkupet, Nehru Nagar, IOC and Kargil Nagar in Tiruvottiyur and Ennore.
Officials of the WRD said the canal, which runs for a distance of 17.3 km from Central railway station to Ennore Creek, had been widened and provided with a flood-protection wall.
This road-laying project was also part of the improvement work, they added.
“We plan to finish laying the road for a minimum of two km by this month-end. The seven-metre-wide road will be used as an inspection track,” said an official.
The department often finds it difficult to transport equipment to clean the canal due to lack of space or encroachments. The blacktopped road will also help transport desilting equipment, and prevent further encroachments from coming up on the stretch.
The department plans to complete the road-laying project by May.