The Water Resources Department (WRD) will soon construct small bridges in six locations between Thiruvanmiyur and Okkiyam Madu across the South Buckingham canal as part of the city waterways improvement project.
According to officials of the WRD, though the causeways in these places are meant for pedestrian use, many two-wheelers and often cars use them. As the causeways are old, they would be demolished and replaced with single lane bridges.
The bridges – each 3.5 metre wide and 25 to 30 m long – would come up across the canal at Elango Nagar, Kottivakkam, Neelankarai and Okkiyam Madu. Two causeways in Palavakkam, located close by, including one which is known as Mayan bridge, would be replaced with new facilities.
D.Viswanathan, a resident of Palavakkam, said these structures served as a link between Rajiv Gandhi Salai and East Coast Road. Many people travelling from Palavakkam to Kandanchavadi use the causeways. Otherwise, they have to take a detour of nearly six km via Thiruvanmiyur. Officials of WRD said the weeds in the canal near the structures were removed recently for free flow of water and prevent further damage to the structures.
The work to build new bridges would be executed as part of the canal widening measures under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission. The canal would be widened to 20-30 m from the existing 12 to 14 m in the six km stretch between Thiruvanmiyur and Okkiyam Madu. The project worth Rs.44 crore, which was affected due to rain, would be resumed next month and completed in a year.
The construction of the bridges would be completed along with the canal widening and deepening work. Each structure would be built at a cost of Rs.60 lakh, an official said. The department is also simultaneously carrying out works to widen the canal between Okkiyam Madu and Muttukadu for a stretch of 13.5 km.