After a month’s work, the Highways Department has restored Anna Arch back in its original position. The arch, which was cut at the points where it joins the pedestals on either side, has been affixed without compromising its strength or alignment.
Works including welding, clamping and lapping of steel rods in the interior of the structure and chemical bonding were carried out to join the steel rods and concrete core of the arch.
The repair was required as one of the twin arches Avenue and Poonamallee High Road was cut as part of work to demolish it to make way for a Rs.117 crore flyover.
However, the government decided to retain the arches that were constructed to mark the platinum jubilee of former Chief Minister C.N. Annadurai.
After Deepavali, work to fix the eight ‘Anna Pakshi’ and eight karuku or floral designs would be taken up by Sthapathi S.Santhanakrishnan, a relative of Ganapathi Sthapathi, who had done the works on the Anna Arch originally.
“I will commence work at the site itself as I want to retain the original style. It will take between a week and ten days. I am keen that at the end of it, nobody should be able to find a difference,” said Mr. Santhanakrishnan, who has worked under Ganapathi Sthapathi at the Tiruvalluvar statue in Kanyakumari.
After the completion of the Sthapathi’s work, the cleaning and painting of the two arches will begin. Vehicles will be most likely allowed passage through the arches by mid-December.
Meanwhile, the revised alignment for the flyover has been finalised and will soon be placed in front of a high-level committee for approval.