Temporary facilities such as ramps, steel decks recommended

A comprehensive traffic management plan, prepared by the Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL), will soon be put in place on arterial roads in preparation for the underground tunnelling work, which is set to commence by June.

Phase-I of the Metro Rail project has 24 km of underground tunnels, most of which will run beneath Jawaharlal Nehru Salai, Anna Salai and Poonamallee High Road.

The plan will focus on easing both pedestrian and vehicular flow, said K. Rajaraman, Managing Director, CMRL.

“The plan recommends erecting temporary facilities such as ramps, steel decks and cross-over platforms. However, motorists will have to start preparing for some pain as there is going to be a reduction in available road space,” he said.

He added that additional traffic wardens would be posted on the roads to assist the traffic police.

Once work on the underground sections commenced, locations where stations are proposed would either be completely cut off for traffic or only one lane of carriageway would be available.

The entire road section will be excavated top-down and a rectangular concrete box will be built beneath the road surface.

Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) would be assembled and launched from relatively traffic-free locations such as Nehru Park, May Day Park, Shenoy Nagar and Washermenpet.

A senior Metro Rail official said that once the tunnelling started, station spaces towards which a TBM is being driven would have to be completed and tracks to be laid before the machine arrived. Multiple underground stations will be under construction at the same time to synchronise with the tunnelling operation.

M. Ravi, Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic), said that a consultation meeting has been scheduled next week during which the implementation of the plan would be discussed.

Chennai Metro Rail project consists of two corridors with elevated viaducts and underground tunnels for a length of 45 km. It will have 19 underground stations and 13 elevated stations.