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A bridge to ease way to Manali

Special Correspondent
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Connectivity between Manali and Tiruvottiyur is set to improve in two years, with the highways department recently issuing the work order for construction of a road overbridge across the Mattu Mandhai level crossing.

Though these localities are not very far, connectivity has always been an issue as a railway line with at least three level crossings cuts across the area.

V. Kasirajan of Tiruvottiyur said that on completion of the facility, residents would have easy access to the 100-feet road to reach areas including Anna Nagar, Koyambedu and the Airport. “Tiruvottiyur has hundreds of labourers who work in Manali, which is an industrial hub. Every day people get stuck at the level crossing waiting for trains to pass,” he said.

G. Sivalingam, a resident of Annai Sivagami Nagar in Tiruvottiyur, said that those wanting to avoid this route were currently being forced to travel to Koyambedu through Parry’s Corner, which was a roundabout route. “Buses, cars, trailers wait impatiently to cross this level crossing. The bridge would be a welcome facility. If the work had been taken up five years ago, it would have helped residents,” he said.

According to sources in the highways department, the Rs. 47-crore road overbridge, spanning 550 metres, would be 13.2 metres wide, have a median with a crash barrier and footpaths.

The Southern Railway would construct 38.48 metres of the facility that would have 12 piers and two abutments. The approach from Manali side would be 108.59 metres long and that from the Tiruvottiyur side would be 84.2 metres.

“Land acquisition is in the final stages. The agreement with the contractor is expected to be signed soon and he will start work within a couple of months. He has to mobilise men, material and machinery,” said a source.

Meanwhile, the estimates for replacing two other level crossings in Tiruvottiyur — those in Wimco Nagar and Sathyamurthy Nagar — are ready. They would be replaced with vehicular subways.

“We can commence work only after the Southern Railway finishes its portion. Also, we cannot take up the three works simultaneously. Only after the Mattu Mandhai project is completed, can the other works be taken up,” said the official.

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