The facility is not yet officially inaugurated but several commuters have started using it
On Sunday, M. Visalakshi (52), who works in a hotel near the Madras Export Processing Zone (MEPZ) junction in Tambaram, chose to climb up the new foot overbridge rather than run across the busy GST Road.
“The steps are okay. It is shady up there and I can walk at my own pace,” she said.
The highways department recently completed construction of the overbridge that has facilities including solar-powered lighting, a public announcement system and CCTV, which will record video and store data up to a month. It also has escalators on either side but they are not operational yet.
“We will have people to man the escalators and someone will also monitor the CCTV. Security personnel will also be appointed,” said a source in the highways department.
The facility is a critical one as it has come up across a stretch that sees over 1.9 lakh vehicles every day, according to the Highways Research Station.
For pedestrians, the stretch is a dangerous one as they have to dodge fast-approaching vehicles and race across to cross the road.
R. Senthilnathan, who works at MEPZ, said many pedestrians wouldn’t even wait till vehicles stopped completely. “They choose to run across in a gap of a few seconds,” he said.
The overbridge, which is yet to be officially inaugurated, is already being used by pedestrians. On Sunday, a group of youngsters, who were back from shopping in T. Nagar, were seen clicking selfies on overbridge.
“It looks nice and different from other bridges in the city,” said Sunil Sharma, who stays in Rangathapuram near MEPZ.
Meanwhile, the highways department is speeding up work to construct overbridges in other places — near SBIOA School on Jawaharlal Nehru Salai, in Chromepet (near the railway station), Velachery TCS (Baby Nagar) and at Taramani link near Perungudi MGR Salai junction. The total cost of the foot overbridges is Rs. 30 crore.