New bridge serves as crucial link on Chennai Tada Road

Hundreds of vehicle users, industrial units and educational institutions around Karanodai can travel without worrying about a traffic jam there with the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) recently allowing traffic on the new bridge across the Kosasthalaiyar river, a crucial link on Chennai Tada Road.

The bridge is being widened as part of the Rs.418.75 crore project to widen the NH 5, which is the road to Kolkata and a crucial link to and from Nellore, Vijayawada, Gummidipoondi, Panchetti and other areas.

The main body of the pre-stress bridge had been constructed and was waiting for over a year to be connected with the sides, causing vehicles to use the existing narrow bridge that led to innumerable traffic jams. (A pre-stress bridge is one which has cables running through the girders and when tension is applied, there is upward pressure making the bridge vibrate when heavy vehicles use it.)

Lack of adequate land to connect the two sides was cited as reason for the delay by NHAI officials. NHAI Chief General Manager I.G.Reddy said the Tiruvallur Collector Ashish Chatterjee acted swiftly upon the complaints of vehicle users and speeded up the land acquisition near the bridge.

Land acquisition has been a major issue for the project to 6-lane the 43.4 km long road of which only 7 km has been completed so far.

Work is being carried out by the concessionaire for 18 km, land has been handed over to the NHAI along 12 km, the notification process is on in a 10 km stretch and land acquisition is yet to commence on 3 km.

The Chennai-Tada road, which is a crucial link for vehicles proceeding to and from Nellore, Vijayawada, Gummidipoondi, and other areas, also provides connectivity to several educational institutions with the city.

“Unless land is handed over to the company, work cannot be taken up. Apart from widening the road, we are constructing flyovers, underpasses and overpasses. Due to the delay in handing over the land, the work on the road is expected to be completed by November 2013,” said Mr. Reddy.

Project Director Ramesh Babu said that six new flyovers, 15 pedestrian underpasses, five vehicular underpasses and one vehicular overpass would be constructed. “On completion, the road would be a partially access control facility where local traffic would not have to use the main carriage way. The service lanes would be 7 mts wide each and allow two-way traffic.”

K. Sureshkumar, who works in the area, said opening of the bridge on the night of March 24 was a great relief to people who commute beyond Karanodai. “It was one of the four major bottlenecks on the road. The toll plaza is one, the Tiruvallur Road junction and Ambika Theatre junction are points that need to be looked at,” he said.

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