It would be a dream come true for those driving down to Tirupur or Erode from Coimbatore on the Avinashi Road.

Works to expand National Highway 47 into a six-lane facility from Chengapalli to Neelambur have commenced.

Concrete structures are coming up at several spots on the road. Trees lined up on either sides of the road have been removed to pave way for an expanded carriageway. Utility lines have been shifted. The 42.6 km Chengapalli-Neelambur section will have service lanes on either side. The stretch from Madukkarai to Walayar will be converted for four-lane traffic.

Sandwiched between the two sections of the project will be the existing bypass road being built by a private infrastructure service provider. The total cost for the project is Rs. 852 crore and IVRCL Infrastructure Projects has taken up the work on Build-Operate-Transfer basis. According to the Project Director and Manager of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) P. Manivannan, the new highway will be similar to the New Delhi-Gurgaon Road, with entry and exit ramps, vehicular and cattle underpasses. Except the service lanes, the entire stretch from Chengapalli to Neelambur will be nearly six feet above ground level (elevated road).

The average daily traffic on the road now is 25,000 to 30,000 passenger car units and is expected to grow at six per cent annually till 2014.

Considering the traffic density and its growth, the NHAI has departed from their conventional practice of converting a two-lane into a four-lane stretch. The entire length of this highway would be a six-lane section.

“Our roads, including the new road, are for vehicles doing speeds of 100 km an hour,” Mr Manivannan said.

Three special land acquisition units, led by a District Revenue Officer, have been formed and 22 hectares has been acquired so far out of the 200 hectares identified.

In respect of the remaining land, the acquisition proceedings are nearing completion.

The project will have two bypass roads: one at Perumanallur (4.7 km) and another at Avinashi (7.8 km).

It will have three flyovers: at Neelambur Junction, Karumathampatti Junction and Madukkarai. The road will have 18 vehicular underpasses and 18 cattle passes. Bus bays at 40 locations, six truck lay-by bays and pedestrian underpasses for every vehicular underpass are the other features of the road. It will also have 10 minor bridges, 40 pipe culverts and 50 culverts.

“The project's completion depends on the pace of completion of land acquisition,” Mr. Manivannan said.

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