A grade separator, constructed at the intersection of Pallavaram-Thoraipakkam Radial Road and Velachery Main Road, has been completed and is expected to be dedicated in the first week of November.
The project was taken up under the Chennai Metropolitan Development Programme of the State Highways Department and executed by its Projects Division. The bridge span from the Pallikaranai side till the Velachery side is 650 metres. The width is 22 metres with a 1.2-metre-wide median. Once thrown open to traffic, the six-lane facility is expected to put a permanent end to traffic bottlenecks on this stretch.
Officials of the Highways Department said that when original estimates were prepared, the project cost was around Rs.14 crore, but after revisions, it worked out to Rs.21 crore. However, they had spent only around Rs.19 crore, saving up a precious Rs.2 crore for the exchequer. The saving was possible as the Highways Department did not face problems in the form of land acquisition or encroachment eviction and other contingencies.
On commissioning, motorists bound for Velachery and Tambaram can get past the intersection in much less time than now over the bridge.
Vehicles from Pallavaram towards Thoraipakkam and Tambaram, from Velachery to Pallavaram, from Thoraipakkam towards Pallavaram and Velachery and from Tambaram to Thoraipakkam would have to travel underneath the bridge.
Though vehicles would continue to converge at the intersection, the bulk of traffic would be travelling over the grade separator, officials said. With little policing, traffic flow would be smooth at this point.
The facility was scheduled for completion in March this year. But the major portion of the bridge was completed only last month.
The project suffered a delay of six months due to soil-related problems near the Pallikaranai marshland. Officials pointed out that a road overbridge under at the intersection of Pallavaram – Thoraipakkam Radial Road and Grand Southern Trunk was in progress and once completed in June next year, it would improve connectivity between Rajiv Gandhi Salai (IT Corridor) and the airport.