Madurai

High-level bridge to replace Obula Padithurai causeway

When the high-level bridge comes in place of Obula Padithurai causeway, it will ease traffic congestion on other Albert Victor and Yanaikkal bridges.   | Photo Credit: G. Moorthy

Following the recent rains, pedestrian and traffic movement has been restricted on Obula Padithurai causeway, which connects the southern and northern banks of the Vaigai, as the river water was slightly flowing over the causeway. Road users say traffic movement is restricted on the causeway whenever the flow of water in the river is high, causing inconvenience to them.

To tackle this issue, Madurai Corporation has sent a proposal to the Directorate of Town and Country Planning for the construction of a high-level bridge across the Vaigai, replacing the existing Obula Padithurai causeway. The civic body is awaiting the administrative sanction and the allotment of funds to execute the project. “The proposal was sent around four months back during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are awaiting to get the administrative sanction for the project,” said a Corporation official.

The civic body has sent a detailed project report for ₹27.50 crore for the construction of a two-lane high-level bridge which will have approach roads connecting Panagal Road on the northern side and Munichalai on the southern side of the bridge. Citing financial constraints faced by the Corporation, the civic body has requested a grant of ₹27.50 crore from Infrastructure and Amenities Development fund for constructing the bridge. It will be 200 metres long and have 12 spans.

Hundreds of two-wheelers and light motor vehicles use the Obula Padithurai causeway, which serves as one of the main links to the southern and northern parts of the city. “Currently heavy vehicles are not allowed on the causeway. But once the high-level bridge is constructed, heavy vehicles can also use it,” said the Corporation official.

The high-level bridge will also help reduce congestion on Albert Victor bridge and Yanaikkal bridge to some extent, he added.

The Obula Padithurai causeway, which was constructed several years back, is riddled with potholes and craters. The railings along the causeway have been severely damaged in many places. “There have been incidents where pedestrians and vehicle users have accidentally fallen into the river in the absence of the railings,” said a police personnel who was deployed near the causeway on Monday.

The Corporation official said the high-level bridge will also facilitate easier access to Government Rajaji Hospital.

V.R. Pandi, a shopkeeper on the northern bank of the river, said road users had to endure hardship whenever the traffic movement on the causeway is restricted and welcomed the proposal to build the high-level bridge.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2021 5:26:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/high-level-bridge-to-replace-obula-padithurai-causeway/article33214818.ece

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