The road overbridge (ROB) being built near the Railway Junction in the city is set to be completed within the next couple of months.
The State Highways Department has started work on building the approach road to connect the incomplete Chennai arm of the ROB. This will be the final leg of the first stage of the project being executed by the Highways Department and the Railways.
The completion of the first stage of the project would come as a big relief for motorists in the city as the project had dragged on for years due to issues in land transfer and acquisition. Construction of the multi-level ROB, being built in two stages, was suspended after nearly 90% of the first stage of the project was completed but for the Chennai arm of the bridge, which needs to be connected to an approach road, which required the transfer of 0.663 acres of land owned by the Ministry of Defence.
Construction resumed in May this year after the Highways Department and the Defence Estates Office, after prolonged negotiations, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) paving the way for the land transfer. The pending works on the ROB, including building service lanes and storm water drains, is being executed at a cost of ₹3.53 crore.
Sources in Highways Department told The Hindu that work on building the approach road has begun a few days ago. Already work had been under way on building the service lane on the final stretch.
“Over the past couple of months, we were getting ready the concrete blocks to be used for the retaining earthen walls of the approach road. The blocks are almost ready after the curing period. We have already started work on the approach road which would run for a distance about 130 metres. We will complete the work by November,” said an official of the department.
Administrative sanction for the project was issued in February 2011. The initial project estimate of ₹74 crore was later revised to ₹115.59 crore. Construction of the first stage of the flyover began in February 2014 and was scheduled to be completed by February 2017.
The second stage of the project would be taken up upon completion of the first stage. Once the ROB is completed and opened for traffic, the Highways Department will go ahead with the second stage which envisages dismantling of the existing narrow bridge at the site and construction of a new one. “We are gearing up for executing the second stage of the project. The design for the new bridge is being readied by the Planning, Designs and Investigation Wing,” the official said.
According to sources, the second stage of the project would not require much land acquisition except for the transfer of a piece of land from the Department of Posts. “The issue has already been taken up with them and the Revenue authorities are in the process of identifying a suitable alternative site to be given in exchange to the Department of Posts,” the source said.