Steps to widen OMR-ECR link roads

TO EASE CONGESTION: The State Highways Department will widen the existing Sholinganallur link road to connect Old Mamallapuram Road (OMR) and East Coast Road (ECR) as a four-lane carriageway to meet the growing volume of vehicular traffic. Ph oto: N. Sridharan  

T.S. Shankar

CHENNAI: The Highways Department has initiated steps to widen link roads connecting the information technology corridor (Old Mamallapuram Road, OMR) and the entertainment corridor (East Coast Road, ECR). In the next 10 days, the department will re-lay the link road and take up patch works as a temporary measure.

The department had prioritised the Sholinganallur road to connect East Coast Road and Old Mamallapuram Road. Official sources told The Hindu on Wednesday that re-tendering had to be initiated in view of the increase in the price of bitumen and the delay in land acquisition.

The proposed Sholinganallur link would be a four-lane carriageway. It will be an important connection given that vehicular traffic, especially buses/coaches that transport the staff of IT companies round the clock, has increased.

And on weekends, this road is optimally used by holiday crowd in view of the two-way vehicular traffic to ECR and OMR to connect Velachery and beyond and also a popular temple located on the link road.

The department has embarked on patch works on this link road. The Government is planning to integrate the two corridors to ensure better road connectivity, considering the increasing leisure/amusement-related activities sparked by the IT boom.

On widening East Coast Road, the sources said the Government was considering whether it could "alter the present alignment ... without making any major demolitions of encroachments" and seek legal remedy to take this corrective action, and geometrics changes of the present ECR.

"The Government is also examining the feasibility of effecting changes in the toll collection on ECR after ... widening the road," the sources said.

The sources said the Highways Department was keen on improving the roads connecting Velachery and the Thoraipakkam-Pallikaranai road.