Commuters using Chromepet railway station and the bus stops on either side of the Grand Southern Trunk Road have reason to be happy. They will soon be able to cross the road safely thanks to a fresh proposal to construct a foot overbridge (FOB) by the highways department.

“We had earlier planned to construct an FOB near the Chromepet GH but then chose this spot as the facility will benefit more pedestrians and also ensure multi-modal connectivity. Those coming here by road will find it easier to proceed to the station to take a train,” said an official in the highways department.

The FOB will have one escalator each on either side of the road and stairs on three sides — two on the post office side and one near Chromepet Railway Station.

Srimathi Santhanam of Chromepet said that pedestrians are now put to hardship as the opening in the median opposite the railway station has been closed for the past few months to prevent accidents. A traffic signal is located about 400 feet away from the old opening and pedestrian crossings are allowed at that point. “But commuters carrying luggage find it difficult to walk that additional distance,” she said.

Many residents like Rajaselvi Ilankumaran suggested that the FOB be connected with the one inside the railway station. “Crossing the road will become very easy then. We need not wait for traffic to stop and a traffic signal would be required only for motorists who need to take a ‘U’ turn,” she said.

The highways had in fact proposed to connect this FOB with the existing one inside the railway station so that pedestrians could cross over to the other side of the tracks but the Southern Railway shot it down. “We had planned to provide multi-modal connectivity. But the railways recently said that the FOB should be shifted a few meters away since the existing facility is ticket protected,” said a source.

Earlier, the national highways authority of India had planned to construct an FOB at the spot and a plaque had also been laid to mark the project. However, the Southern Railway objected to providing land for the FOB inside the station.

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