Work to construct the Rs. 52-crore bridge across the Ennore Creek is nearing completion. The 665-m-long bridge is ready, and all that remains is the completion of approach roads. Over 1,000 m of the total road length of 1,847 m is already in place.
“It will take us another month or so to finish the roads. Land acquisition for the remaining 847 m of road — 100 m on the Kathivakkam side and 747 m on the Athipathu side — has been completed and work is on,” said a source at the Highways Department.
The bridge, which takes off at Ennore, ends at Kuruvimedu near the North Chennai Thermal Power Station (NTPS). Apart from improving connectivity for residents of areas such Minjur, Thiruvellavoyal, Ennore and Athipattu, the bridge would help Chennai port users and also vehicles proceeding to the NCTPS.
Currently, motorists have to take the Tiruvottiyur-Ponneri-Panchetti (TPP) Road passing through Eranavur, Manali New Town and Napalayam and travel more than 20 km to reach various destinations in Tiruvallur district.
The bridge will reduce the distance on that route by 24 km.
Minjur residents said that travelling through the TPP Road was a harrowing experience due to traffic jams, as hundreds of heavy vehicles carrying containers to the port passed through it.
“The commute is especially difficult when we need to travel to RSRM hospital or Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital during an emergency. The bridge would really help us travel faster. The MTC should also introduce bus services on this route,” said Krishnan, a resident of Minjur.
Kalaivanan, a resident of Ennore, said that after the completion of the bridge, steps must be taken to remove the mud that has been placed across the creek to facilitate the construction.
“Several bridges have been constructed on the water body but various departments have not removed the mud, leading to obstructions to the free flow of water. This affects the livelihood of hundreds of inland fishermen,” he said.
Ennore residents also demanded that traffic police personnel be posted at the spot where the bridge joins Ennore, since a government school is located in the area. “A traffic signal with a pedestrian crossing should also be set up at the spot,” said Desappan, a resident.