After several years of delay, work to widen the 10.5 km urban stretch of the East Coast Road (ECR) from Thiruvanmiyur to Akkarai is likely to commence within this financial year.
“Wherever we could, we have widened the road into six lanes. With the land acquisition process nearing completion and payments being made to property owners, we hope to complete around 80% of the widening by the end of the current financial year,” said a source in the Highways Department.
The project was initially announced in 2005 and a token amount of ₹10 crore was sanctioned by the government.
Continuous delays in land acquisition and court cases ensured that the four-lane road remained at that width in most stretches. It will cost under ₹10 crore to widen and construct stormwater drains (SWD) and footpaths on both sides.
K. Suseela, a resident of Neelankarai, said the road had not been widened for a long time.
This had caused traffic movement to slow down considerably in these areas. “One cannot go beyond 40 km/hr at any point of time since there are pedestrians and local traffic. We were expecting the elevated road from Thiruvanmiyur to the RTO office to be extended till Akkarai,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Department is presently constructing SWDs in Palavakkam for a length of 1.5 km to prevent flooding.
“Many drains leading from the western side of the ECR empty themselves onto the road, leading to flooding. We deploy motors to pump out the water since it disturbs traffic flow,” said an engineer associated with the project.