Bridge portion ready; earth work for approach road completed
The nearly 20-metre wide bridge coming up across the Buckingham Canal, as a replacement for an iron bridge that collapsed two years ago, is expected to considerably decongest traffic in and around Madhya Kailash junction when it opens in a few weeks.
The new bridge, 19.20 long and connecting Rajiv Gandhi Salai, near Tidel Park, and Indira Nagar, is almost ready, says D.Karthikeyan, Commissioner, Chennai Corporation, which is implementing the project. “The bridge portion is ready and earth work for the approach road has been completed. We are waiting for the rain to stop for laying the road as bituminous tar cannot be laid in wet conditions,” he adds.
Once commissioned, the two-way bridge would help to reduce traffic at the busy Thiruvanmiyur junction too. Motorists proceeding from Besant Nagar, Adyar telephone exchange and Indira Nagar areas and bound for Velachery, Taramani and Rajiv Gandhi Salai can take this bridge. It would also reduce time and fuel consumption for those coming on Rajiv Gandhi Salai and proceeding towards Adyar, Gandhi Nagar and Sastri Nagar.
Two-wheelers, cyclists and pedestrians have already started using the facility that is being constructed at a cost of Rs.3.12 crore.
D. Ellappan, a senior citizen and resident of Housing Board apartments in Indira Nagar, says he finds the bridge very useful to go to the Voluntary Health Services for his routine check-ups. “When the old iron bridge fell [in November 2009] after a brick-laden lorry tried to negotiate it, we faced lot of difficulty and had to come via Thiruvanmiyur to VHS. But now we take this bridge,” he adds.
The bridge, work on which commenced in March 2010, is 19.80 metre wide and has pedestrian footpaths, keeping in mind the hundreds of office-goers and students who would use it. At the time of commencement of work, the officials had said that the bridge would be ready within a year. Though a few houses on the Indira Nagar side have to be removed to ensure easy flow of traffic and avoid pile-up, officials of the Corporation say the opening on that end was enough to accommodate cars.
“The Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board has to allot houses for these people and they say it will take over a year for that as the houses are yet to be constructed,” an official says.
The Corporation has also completed construction of another bridge alongside an existing facility near the Madhya Kailash junction at a cost of Rs.2.13 crore. The bridge is 26.86 metre wide and there are footpaths on either side. The old arch bridge is not being demolished as structural tests showed that it was strong and could be retained.