After waiting for over a year for completion of land acquisition, the highways department is now set to commence the construction of a flyover on Jawaharlal Nehru Salai.
The Rs. 69.4-crore facility will come up over the Vadapalani junction and the central portion will be integrated with the Metro Rail station, which will be the highest elevated station. A separate bay will be constructed inside the station so that MTC buses can drop and pick up passengers.
According to sources in the highways department, work to construct 900 metres of stormwater drains and service lanes for the project will be taken up shortly.
“The tenders for these works have been settled and the contractor will commence work soon. It will take two months for completing these works,” said an official.
A total of 3,000 sq. mt. of land is required for the service lanes along the 450-metre-long four-lane flyover.
Recently, over 30 shops near the Vadapalani police station were demolished after a court ruling came in favour of the widening of the road to facilitate the creation of the service lanes.
A case pertaining to land belonging to a temple in the vicinity is still in court.
Traffic on the busy arterial road will be diverted to the lanes once they are constructed. Work on construction of pillars will then be taken up by the Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL). The work on the flyover is being jointly carried out by the CMRL and the highways department.
Recent traffic studies established the need for a flyover at the junction of Arcot Road and Jawaharlal Nehru Salai. During peak hours alone, 11,000 vehicles ply the section on Jawaharlal Nehru Salai between Kathipara and Vadapalani and 12,000 vehicles pass through the Vadapalani-Koyambedu section. A total of 1.85 lakh vehicles use the road every day.
According to C. Balasubramaniam, who owns a cool drinks shop at the junction, during rush hour, vehicles on Arcot Salai stand still in traffic snarls till the Saligramam junction and on the Koyambedu side too, vehicles stand for quite some distance. “A portion of my shop has been demolished for a service lane and pavement. But I don’t mind it as it the pavement is needed for the public to walk,” he said.
C. Kumar, who crosses the signal daily, said that the holes created on the stretch due to the demolition of shops had not been covered. “Officials must repair the holes; they are dangerous to two-wheeler riders,” he said.