Integrating Kochi metro viaduct with elevated highway will save cost by 20%, says E. Sreedharan

The detailed project report for the elevated highway is under preparation, while Kochi Metro Rail Limited has commenced a techno-feasibility study on integrating the two structures

Published - June 25, 2024 10:16 pm IST - KOCHI

The flyover at Kundannur on the Edappally-Aroor bypass. The NHAI has mulled an elevated highway over the stretch.

The flyover at Kundannur on the Edappally-Aroor bypass. The NHAI has mulled an elevated highway over the stretch. | Photo Credit: H. VIBHU

Integrating the Kochi metro viaduct with the elevated highway proposed on the 17-km Edappally-Aroor bypass will help save their combined cost by approximately 20%, E. Sreedharan, former Principal Advisor to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), has said.

The detailed project report (DPR) for the elevated highway is under preparation, while Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) has commenced a techno-feasibility study on integrating the two structures that would, once completed, pass through one of the busiest NH corridors in Kerala. Already, the metro viaduct passes directly over the Edappally flyover.

Mr. Sreedharan said the metro viaduct could easily be integrated with the elevated highway proposed in the NH corridor that caters for intra-district, inter-district and inter-State passengers. “Only the column size would have to be marginally increased for this. Integrating the two structures will also do away with the need for land that would have to be acquired in case they are to be built as two separate structures since their alignment will be through the centre of the bypass,” he added.

At present, the phase-one viaduct of the metro passes perpendicular to Edappally and Vyttila on the bypass, while its phase-two viaduct to Kakkanad is expected to criss-cross the national highway corridor at the Palarivattom Bypass Junction.

Edappally underpass

Mr. Sreedharan also reiterated that a sustainable solution to acute traffic hold-ups at Edappally was to build a four-lane underpass linking the bypass with the rest of NH 66 that proceeded northward towards Varapuzha. “The underpass along the NH 66 alignment would be much shorter and less steep than a flyover that can now only be built at the third level, over the flyover and the metro viaduct. This in itself would save 50% on the construction expense,” he said.

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) had earlier this year proposed to build a pair of vehicle underpasses on the Palarivattom and Varapuzha side of Edappally Junction for vehicles to take U-turn, to lessen reliance on the signal system and to decongest the junction.

Metro sources said aspects such as the metro extension through the bypass and its integration with the proposed elevated highway would figure in a stakeholders’ meeting planned for July 6. “Aspects like whether to have a conventional metro viaduct through the bypass or to go in for alternatives like bus-rapid transport system [BRTS] have to be factored in. Moreover, there has to be seamless integration with the critical Vyttila metro station located on the Vyttila Mobility Hub premises,” they added.

On their part, the NHAI and KMRL would also have to ready a cost-sharing plan.

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