Kochi bypass widening: pedestrian safety, fast commuting to be priorities of NHAI

A host of safety and speed-related problems on the 16-km-long Edappally-Aroor NH bypass will be considered while widening the stretch into a six-lane corridor, National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) sources said.

The agency is getting ready to shortlist a design consultant to ready a detailed project report (DPR) for the six-laning work of the corridor, as part of works to develop the Kozhikode-Edappally-Aroor stretch of NH 66 as a six-lane national highway.

Over the past years, road users and others were complaining of unsafe pedestrian crossing points, inadequate width of the tarred surface of service roads, waterlogging due to absence of drains, absence of cats eyes and other reflectors, and inadequate lighting and sign boards on much of the corridor. Problems posed by unscientific location of bus stops, especially at entry points from service roads, thus causing blind spots, encroachments into service roads and haphazard parking were cited among the reasons for accidents and traffic snarls at frequent intervals on the stretch.

“The NH bypass has an average width of 45 metres, wherein we hope to accommodate all necessary infrastructure for fast and safe commuting. Pedestrian safety too will be accorded priority. The NHAI head office has been apprised of the need to widen four-lane portions on the stretch into six lane, since the daily passenger car units crossed the 60,000 figure many years ago,” official sources said.

The 45-metre-wide stretch does not need an elevated national highway at present, unlike the Aroor-Thuravur stretch having 30-metre width where an elevated corridor has been mooted. The DPR for the elevated corridor is in its final stage. As of now, the operation, maintenance, tolling (OMT) contractor of the Edappally-Aroor stretch is being given notice whenever required, to rectify problems that are brought to our attention, they added.

In addition, a revised estimate will be readied to construct drains wherever needed and to cover existing drains with slabs to prevent waterlogging and waste dumping, it is learnt.

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Printable version | May 22, 2022 2:01:59 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/bypass-widening-pedestrian-safety-fast-commuting-to-be-priorities-of-nhai/article38304116.ece