Highways Department calls for consultants to chalk out a detailed plan for a flyover at the busy junction

The Highways Department is attempting do something that the Chennai Corporation had almost given up on – finding a solution to the traffic chaos at the junction of Lattice Bridge Road and East Coast Road in Thiruvanmiyur. It has called for a consultant to prepare a detailed project report to construct a grade separator on the road.

The civic body had planned to construct a four-lane flyover along Lattice Bridge Road and a four-lane vehicular subway connecting West Avenue and ECR. The Corporation had conceived the plan to aid the free flow of traffic at the junction but had to shelve the proposal due to cost constraints.

“A large area (about 1,20,00 square feet) was required for the project and 3 years ago it was estimated to cost Rs.93 crore. We were hoping that property owners would accept the option of transfer of development rights. But the cost was too much for the civic body,” said a source initially associated with the project. The total cost was estimated to be Rs.150 crore. The crucial junction at Thiruvanmiyur has traffic proceeding from and to the ECR and Rajiv Gandhi Salai.

The State government had accorded administrative sanction for the preparation of the detailed project report for the work in December last year. The work has to be completed in nine months. The consultant would have to do a detailed traffic study in the area and also make provisions for pedestrian facilities. The report would also provide designs for junction improvement, service roads, environmental and social management. The consultant should submit at least four alternatives with merits and demerits of each alternative.

Promising

Sources in the department said that the grade separator would not just deal with a single traffic intersection. It would be a more comprehensive proposal.

A. Krishnaveni, a resident of Thiruvanmiyur, said that a flyover would be a welcome facility at Thiruvanmiyur as pedestrians could then walk freely and safely.

“At present, the Thiruvanmiyur junction is an awful mess. But the Highways Department must ensure that pedestrian space is safeguarded,” she said.

M. Krishnan, a resident of Neelankarai, said that a right turn at the junction would not be a bad idea. “Presently, vehicles cannot take a right to West Avenue Road that leads to Tidel Park Junction. There is a proposal for a flyover at the Tidel junction. This flyover must be integrated with that one,” he said.

Cost-effective?

Former professor of urban engineering, Anna University, K.P. Subramanian said that the good thing about the flyover was that it would not be an isolated facility. “However it would attract more traffic and lead to more congestion. That's what happened in other flyovers. When other countries go for cost-effective solutions, planners can only wonder why Chennai city goes in for flyovers.” The proposal goes against the National Urban Transport Policy, 2006, which says priority has to be given for public transport and non-motorised transport, he added.

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Deepa H. RamakrishnanJune 28, 2012

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