110 m-long bridge will drastically reduce commuting time for residents in western parts of Chennai

The daily ordeal of travelling on congested main roads to reach Nerkundram and Maduravoyal is likely to end soon for residents of Mogappair.

For two years now, they have been taking a detour of over seven km via Thirumangalam Main Road and Jawaharlal Nehru Salai to reach areas along Poonamallee High Road as the bridge across the Cooum river is yet to be completed.

Once the project is finished however, the bridge will be a crucial link between the western parts of the city.

N. Selvam, a resident of Mogappair, said that the work to replace the causeway is progressing at a snail’s pace. “I sometimes take a narrow bridge across the river nearby. But, I have to vie for space with pedestrians,” he said.

The new bridge, being constructed by the State Highways at a cost of Rs.11.3 crore, will connect Golden George Nagar, Mogappair, with Nerkundram. The project was started in August 2010. It will be about 110 metres long and nearly 24 metre wide allowing traffic up to six lanes. It would also have dedicated space for bicycles and pedestrians, said officials of the Highways department.

S.Prabakaran, a resident of Golden George Nagar, said now, motorists have to travel to Thirumangalam Main Road and then negotiate Anna Nagar and Koyambedu to reach areas along Poonamallee High Road.

“Some people also travel to Wavin junction at the Ambattur industrial estate and take the Chennai Bypass Road to reach Maduravoyal. This will also mean a detour of more than five k.m.,” he said.

Ward 91 councillor P.V.Tamilselvan said that residents of Ambattur could also benefit from the bridge.

Residents were worried that if the burial ground adjacent to the bridge were to be taken for the widening, it would contribute to the lack of enough crematoriums in the area. They also wanted the causeway near Rail Nagar, Padi linking with Koyambedu to be upgraded as bridge.

Highways department officials said the bridge would be thrown open for traffic by March. Of the ten spans of the bridge, eight have been completed so far.

The burial ground will not be disturbed except for one or two square metres.

More In: Chennai | News