A long-pending project to widen Chennai Tiruvallur High Road, which has remained on papers for several years, may finally begin soon.

The State Highways Department is now expediting the demarcation of boundaries for the project, which envisages widening a 22-km stretch of the road between Padi and Thiruninravur into four lanes, at a cost of Rs. 98 crore. The road’s present width of 10-12 metres will be widened to 20 metres.

A team of officials from the highways and revenue departments have already covered a nearly 3-km stretch between the Ambattur Telephone Exchange and the Uzhavar Sandhai complex, to decide on the road’s alignment.

This has brought some cheer among residents of western suburbs, who for nearly 10 years, have had to struggle with traffic congestion and pollution, as several stretches along the road are extremely narrow. The road serves as a vital link to the city for nearly eight lakh suburban residents.

Residents of Ambattur said that since not much of the road was blacktopped, motorists had to constantly vie for space with heavy vehicles.

S. Sathish, a resident of Korattur, said some progress had been made, with signboards being put up. However, street illumination and footpaths should also be provided to avoid accidents, he said. The department must also ensure that road space does not get further encroached, he added.

As the second phase of the project proposes making the road a six-lane facility, residents of Pattabiram said boundary demarcations for this should be completed now to expedite the process.

Highways officials said from next week, the survey of the stretch between Thirumullaivoyal and Thiruninravur would be taken up, along with revenue officials of Poonamallee taluk. The survey will be completed in 10 days. Project estimates are also being prepared simultaneously, to speed up work.

The project is being taken up under the Comprehensive Road Infrastructure Development Programme, and will be completed early next year, officials said.

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