Plans to build a vehicular subway, designed as part of two flyovers coming up on busy junctions of Periyar EVR Salai, are likely to be dropped owing to objections from residents.

The subway, which was to link Anna Third Avenue and Periyar EVR Salai, was to be built to ensure free flow of traffic from Anna Nagar to Koyambedu. However, residents of Arumbakkam have raised objections, saying the subway would block access to Razack Garden Main Road. Besides residents, many motorists from Guindy and Ashok Nagar too use the road via MMDA Colony as a shortcut to avoid traffic at Vadapalani.

Officials of the Highways Department, which is the implementing agency, said that residents complained that if the subway was built, they would have to travel an additional 500 metres up till Naduvankarai to take a ‘U' turn. Also, once the subway was built, there would be no direct entry to Periyar EVR Salai from Razack Garden Main Road. The department plans to drop the proposal to build the subway, as it would also be difficult and expensive to maintain. The subway was to be 615 metres long and 10 metres wide. Of this, a 150 metre stretch was to be a 10-metre deep tunnel. “We may run into problems of flooding or seepage during rainy days. We are considering an alternative plan, maybe a flyover or a traffic signal for traffic from Anna Nagar bound to Koyambedu,” sources said.

Though the Rs.117 crore project was kicked off a year ago, only 20 per cent of the work has been completed. The ambitious project to decongest the two junctions is meeting roadblocks due to delays in land acquisition.

While one of the flyovers will begin on Periyar EVR Salai and land on Nelson Manickam Road, the other one will start from Periyar EVR Salai and end on Third Avenue, Anna Nagar. Once the flyovers are built, the two junctions that witness a volume of two lakh passenger car units daily, will become traffic signal-free “We can't start work on Periyar EVR Salai until land is acquired on both sides. Work to create a service lane on Anna Nagar Third Avenue is awaiting permission of entry from the Aringnar Anna Government Hospital of Indian Medicine,” said an official.

The historic Anna Arch, a landmark of Anna Nagar, will soon give way to the flyover. The department is waiting for the Chennai Corporation council's approval to demolish the Arch, which was constructed in 1985 to commemorate the 75 birth anniversary of the former chief minister C.N. Annadurai. The Arch will be rebuilt about 300 metres away from its present location on Third Avenue, once the civic body's Council approves the proposal this month.

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