The textile city that witnesses a fast pace of growth next to Chennai has three major National Highways. While the NH 67 and NH 47 are undergoing widening and strengthening, NH 209 has remained neglected without any major improvement.
NH 47 that once passed through the city is the stretch from Salem to Kochi. The highway has a bypass beginning at Neelambur and rejoining the original alignment at Madukkarai circumventing the city. NH 67, which runs through the city, from Nagapattinam to Mysore via Coimbatore – Mettupalayam is also being widened and strengthened. There is also a proposal to have a bypass for NH 67 from Kangeyampalayam to Mettupalayam.
NH 209 from Dindigul to Mysore, via Coimbatore and Sathyamangalam, went through only relaying and minor improvements all these days. The road passes through the city and is popularly known as Sathyamangalam Road. With no scope for widening or major improvement within the city limits, the authorities plan to have Western and Eastern bypass road projects completed so that the city stretch of NH 209 could breathe easy. When both the bypass roads come through, the incoming traffic bound for destinations beyond Coimbatore could skip entering the city.
Within the city stretch, the proposed flyover at Gandhipuram would ensure relief and ease congestion on Sathyamangalam Road.
As far as NH 209 in its full stretch is concerned, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has embarked on a mission to improve the road. A consultant has been appointed for conducting a feasibility study. The focus will be on widening and strengthening the 268-km stretch from Dindigul to Thimbam. Traffic study is underway.
The authorities proposed to have the Coimbatore – Annur stretch into a four-lane and then from there into a two-lane. However, based on the outputs derived from the study, authorities are also open to the idea of changing the plans.