Southern Railway has set January 3 as the date to start the demolition of the dilapidated Elephant Gate bridge.
The demolition of the bridge, which has remained closed to all kinds of traffic for more than a year now, has been pending due to the delay in shifting the power transmission network passing through the bridge.
In a communication from the Divisional Railway Manager of Chennai to the Tamil Nadu Transmission Corporation (Tantransco), the first week of January next year was fixed for commencing the demolition.
The letter states that the demolition work will start on January 3, and requests Tantransco to complete the shifting of power lines before the end of this year.
A senior official of Tantransco, confirming the receipt of the letter from the Southern Railway, said almost 90% of the work, including construction of high tension towers at the Salt Cotaurs, installation of new power lines for transmitting power from Manali to Mylapore and construction of a substation, has been completed. However, due to rain, some of the works have been delayed. Soon, the new electricity lines will be charged, he added.
The demolition of the rail over bridge (ROB), located between the Puratchi Thalaivar Dr. MGR Chennai Central railway station and the Basin Bridge station, has been hanging fire for more than two years.
The Railways wants to demolish the existing structure and construct a new and wider bridge to increase the tracks, as the department plans to increase long-distance services from the Chennai Central station.
The ROB linking the Wall Tax Road with the Sydenhams Road is an important access road for thousands of vehicles, proceeding from Sowcarpet and Broadway to Otteri and Vepery. The Chennai city traffic police had installed barricades last month and put up banners to prevent pedestrians and motorists from using the dilapidated bridge to avoid accidents.