One year after the announcement of a feasibility study for grade separators in key junctions, Chennai Corporation has asked the consultant to study options for junction improvement and corridor development near the junctions.
This is after the consultant completed the traffic study component of the feasibility study and listed those junctions where the passenger car unit per hour crossed 10,000. The study concluded that grade separators were necessary in such junctions. However, the construction of grade separators is likely to involve land acquisition. The Chennai Corporation has decided to reduce the requirement of land that has to be acquired for grade separators.
With this aim in mind, the Corporation suggested junction improvement in Adhithanar Salai, Pantheon Road and Dr. Rukmani Lakshmipathy Road and development of corridors across River Cooum through junctions such as College Road, Sterling Road and Valluvar Kottam High Road.
It was last year that Mayor Saidai Duraisamy proposed to conduct feasibility studies for construction of grade separators at Arcot Salai, Saligramam and K.K. Nagar 80 feet Road Junction; Mandaiveli Junction near Mandaiveli Bus Stand Junction; Bharathi Salai and Royapettah Clock Tower Junction; Gandhi Mandapam Salai and Ponniamman Koil Salai Junction at Kotturpuram.
The study for facilities at Bharathi Salai and Royapettah Clock Tower Junction study was dropped because of traffic diversions for metro rail project.
The proposal for a feasibility study to connect Usman Road flyovers was also made. But that study too did not commence.
The flyover at the junction of North Usman Road-Kodambakkam High Road was constructed at a cost of Rs. 9.72 crore and the one at Usman Road-Duraisamy Road junction at a cost of Rs. 19.8 crore during the DMK regime to help reduce traffic congestion.
However, the two flyovers only added to traffic congestion. The one at the Usman Road-Duraisamy Road junction does not permit free movement of vehicles on service lanes.
The Fire and Rescue Services Department too had complained that fire tenders could not gain access to Ranganathan Street, Natesan Street and Ramasamy Street. Members of T. Nagar Welfare Associations had also called for demolition of the Usman Road-Duraisamy Road flyover.
So the civic body will opt for flyovers only where similar problems will not arise. Other junctions will be redesigned and improved.