Flyover stalemate casts shadow over traffic on bypass

The four-lane flyover at Palarivattom has been out of bounds for vehicles since May 2019 after it developed cracks.

The four-lane flyover at Palarivattom has been out of bounds for vehicles since May 2019 after it developed cracks.   | Photo Credit: H_Vibhu

Opening of Vyttila, Kundannoor flyovers may worsen chaos at Palarivattom

Even as PWD officials have exuded confidence in completing work on the six-lane flyovers at Vyttila and Kundannoor latest by April, attention has shifted to Palarivattom, where vehicles have to jostle for space to cross the junction. The four-lane flyover at the junction has been out of bounds for vehicles since May 2019 after it developed cracks beyond permissible limits.

Apprehensions are rife that the traffic bottleneck at Palarivattom will become acute owing to the additional inflow of private vehicles into the bypass once the two flyovers are opened. It will severely choke movement of all vehicles, including inter-State and inter-district services, along the NH Bypass.

Official sources said half the work to rehabilitate the girders of the ‘damaged’ flyover could have been completed by now but for stakeholders challenging the rehabilitation work in the High Court of Kerala. Part demolition of the flyover and rebuilding work were to begin on October 1, 2019 and get over by July 2020. However, with nothing happening in the past four months, the Government is in a fix, they added.

They wondered why the previous UDF Government excluded the project to widen 400 metres on Civil Line Road, located on either side of the Palarivattom Bypass Junction, although it was part of the flyover project.

On its part, neither the PWD nor the State Government has initiated steps to develop alternative corridors like Thammanam-Pullepady Road which lies south of Palarivattom. Vehicles can reach the city and return without waiting on end at Palarivattom through the road. Neither has Pipeline Road located north of Palarivattom been developed and tar-coated for use by cars and smaller vehicles. The road linking Vennala with Seaport-Airport Road is in bad condition after being trenched for laying cables.

In the meantime, PWD officials said work on the Vyttila flyover’s approach portion on the Aroor side was almost complete. Painting has begun, while tarring will start in a month. Work on the slip road, followed by the construction of ‘touch piles’ to build a retention wall will get over shortly on the Palarivattom side. Similar work has begun on the Aroor side of the Kundannoor flyover.

The sources added that the two contracting firms were trying their best to complete the flyovers by the end of March. The deadline for the Vyttila flyover had expired in May 2019, while the Kundannoor flyover is expected to adhere to its March 2020 deadline.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 8:21:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/flyover-stalemate-casts-shadow-over-traffic-on-bypass/article30687868.ece

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