Work on the Rs. 23 crore flyover completed after much delay

Work to construct a Rs. 23 crore flyover at the Mint junction in Old Washermenpet area of north Chennai is nearing completion. The project for the four-lane facility connecting Old Jail Road and Basin Bridge Road was sanctioned in July 2009 and the work order was issued in June 2010. 

Though the project was proposed in 2007-08, actual construction began only in 2010 and took nearly double the stipulated 15 months to be completed. Sources in the Chennai Corporation said that land acquisition, retrieving of land on which timber shops were located and shifting of Chennai Metrowater water and sewer mains took time and the deadline had to be pushed on several occasions. 

Work on the entire length of 580 metres has been finished and the civic body has nearly completed painting the facility. “All that remains is black topping on one side and a small portion of a service lane. The work on the service lane is pending completion of some work by Chennai Metrowater,” said a source. The flyover is likely to be ready for use in a month. 

A former engineer with the corporation said that the flyover was an absolute necessity as the junction witnessed heavy traffic every day. The signal connects areas including Royapuram, Kodungaiyur, Pulianthope and Washermenpet. 

“Hundreds of heavy vehicles too cross the junction daily as it is also an important link to Erukancheri High Road and then to Red Hills and to National Highway 5 to Kolkata. Due to the high volume of traffic, pedestrians find it very difficult to even cross the road,” said Asifa Begum, a resident of Mint. 

Though the area lost one of its landmarks – the timber shops after which the Marakadai junction got its name – its other landmark, the clock tower constructed in 1946, has been retained by the Chennai Corporation.

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