The Rs. 18-crore project is expected to be completed by September

The long drawn-out project to construct a channel on Third Avenue at Anna Nagar to divert flood water from Otteri Nullah to Cooum river is nearing completion.

Residents who have been forced to take detours in Anna Nagar may not have to face the traffic diversions for a further two months as the Water Resources Department (WRD) plans to re-lay the road on the completed stretch simultaneously.

At present, the work has started on a stretch of Third Avenue from the roundtana to K3 police station. The box-type channel, covering a distance of 1,450 metres, will transport excess floodwater from Otteri Nullah to Cooum river, and prevent flooding in areas of Anna Nagar East.

Residents of Anna Nagar want the department to finish blacktopping the stretch where traffic diversion is already in place for ongoing Metro Rail work.

The Rs. 18-crore project, which started in January last year, ran into delays because of challenges faced in shifting utility cables and tackling heavy traffic. “Work for a distance of 1,100 metres is over. We are expediting the work to avoid traffic problems in the area,” said an official.

Recalling inconveniences faced by residents due to delay in blacktopping the stretch after work was carried out, officials said the road would be re-laid as the work progresses to the Shanthi Colony junction, to avoid traffic diversions and congestion.

Having completed the structure, which will intersect with the proposed subway of Metro Rail, the department is now shifting its focus to another tough stretch where electricity cables crisscross the road. “We managed the work without disturbing large drinking water pipelines at the roundtana. As we move further down, we have to dig up to 22 feet to build the channel. We need a traffic diversion to link the channel to Cooum near the K3 police station,” an official said.

The department plans to complete the entire project by September.