Kochi

Design consultants to be hired for bypass widening project

Traffic hold-ups have become the norm on the four-lane Edappally-Vyttila NH Bypass.

Traffic hold-ups have become the norm on the four-lane Edappally-Vyttila NH Bypass.

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is set to invite design consultants to widen the 16-km-long Edappally-Aroor NH Bypass into a six-lane road as part of its endeavour to hew out the Kozhikode-Edappally-Aroor stretch of NH 66 as a six-lane corridor.

Special attention will be given to free the Edappally-Aroor Bypass of signal junctions, considering that motorists get caught in snarls at Edappally, Vyttila, and Kundannur, where traffic continues to be regulated by signals despite the presence of flyovers, it is reliably learnt.

The sole exception is at Palarivattom, where the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) — which rebuilt the Palarivattom flyover — introduced an innovative method to streamline traffic in the east-west direction by providing a U-turn each on the northern and southern sides of the flyover.

Many parts of the Edappally-Aroor Bypass remain four-lane, despite it being considered the busiest such corridor in Kerala, where intra-city, inter-district and inter-State traffic vie for space. An average of over 1 lakh passenger car units (PCUs) use the stretch every day.

Redesigning space

“The design consultant, who will be shortlisted in early 2022, is expected to come up with multiple design options to make optimal use of available space on the 45-metre-wide national highway. The tentative plan is to reduce the width of medians to a metre and integrate the buffer zone located between the NH Bypass carriageway and service roads on either side, to the carriageway,” sources said.

The service roads at many places have substantial width, while they are narrow in several other locales.

Even as fresh land acquisition has not been mooted, it may, in all probability, be needed at Edappally, Vyttila, and Kundannur to ensure smooth flow of vehicles in different directions, it is learnt.

Deadline

The NHAI is learnt to have set a 30-month deadline to complete the development of the entire Kozhikode-Edappally-Aroor NH into a six-lane stretch.

Vyttila United Forum, a conclave of residents associations, traders and others, has, in the meantime, demanded that either the NHAI or the PWD (NH Wing) which built the flyovers at Vyttila and Kundannur, take steps to streamline the flow of vehicles that criss-cross the junction beneath the flyovers. “The NHAI, which owns the NH Bypass, must clarify how it will incorporate the six-lane NH at the bottlenecked junctions in the corridor. Motorists have to wait for long to get the green signal, despite the presence of flyovers,” Thampy V.R., president of the forum, said. It is because the State government has not given the go-ahead to the PWD (NH Wing) to kick-start the second phase development work at Vyttila and Kundannur, he added.

Elevated NH

The design for an elevated NH for the 11-km-long Aroor-Thuravur stretch has been readied, and work will begin in the first half of 2022. Apart from ensuring faster commute, the elevated corridor is expected to lessen accidents involving pedestrians crossing the highway.


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Printable version | May 13, 2022 7:14:33 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/design-consultants-to-be-hired-for-bypass-widening-project/article37981107.ece