BANGALORE: Magic boxes, flyovers, underpasses, roadover-road – the city has seen it all in the last couple of years. The drastic transformation can be attributed to a burgeoning working population. This has necessitated infrastructure projects to ease congestion on the city’s roads which were laid originally to cater to a population of just 20,000, and make travel smooth for the approximately 44 lakh vehicles that ply on them today.
The plan for elevated roads began with the Hosur Road Elevated Expressway in 2006 so that heavy traffic headed for a particular area could be diverted through this route. This was followed by the Tumkur Road elevated expressway in 2007 and the Hebbal-Yelahanka expressway in late 2010.
Hosur Road elevated expressway
The Hosur Road elevated expressway was one such project, the longest elevated national highway in the country, which was completed in 2010. The 10-km, 4-lane highway, completed at a cost of Rs 765 crores, connects Central Silk Board junction to Electronics City.
The IT industry took birth in south Bangalore, and the entire stretch is dotted with campuses employing a sizeable workforce. The expressway has been a boon to commuters traversing a stretch that used to take close to an hour, in under 15 minutes.
Connectivity through the elevated expressway is augmented to the localities of Koramangala, Sarjapur Road, Madiwala, Bommanahalli, Begur, Hongasandra, Mangammanapalya, G B Palya, Kudlu, Singasandra, Electronics City, Bommasandra, up to Jigani.
Tumkur Road elevated expressway
Completed in 2011, the 19.5-km NH-4 improvement project along with a 4-lane elevated section of 4.5-km has changed the face of west Bangalore. Vehicles plying this route can now directly move up to Nelamangala and Dobbespet on the one end and on to Pune and Mumbai at the other end.
This project also augments connectivity to the city’s oldest and largest industrial area – Peenya Industrial Area and its upcoming offshoot – Greater Peenya Industrial Area. Along with the upcoming Metro line, this will serve to provide seamless travel in and out of the city at the western end.
Along with the connectivity through the Outer Ring Road, the Bangalore-Nelamangala expressway will connect the localities of Rajajinagar, Malleswaram, Nandini Layout, Yeshwanthpur, Mathikere, Laggere, Peenya, T Dasarahalli, Hesaraghatta, Jalahalli, Madanayakahalli, Nagasandra, and surrounding areas.
Hebbal-Yelahanka elevated expressway
This is perhaps the most awaited project since the completion of the international airport. When the airport took shape, a signal-free corridor was planned from the GPO right up to the airport with grade separators at strategic junctions. However, this failed to regulate the ever-increasing traffic travelling to and from the airport as well as on to Hyderabad, despite the widening the highway into a 6-lane road.
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) then took the upgradation of this stretch of the NH-7 under the National Highways Development Project – Phase VII for a distance of a little over 22-km from Hebbal. The 6-lane elevated section of 3.5-km begins from Hebbal and goes up to the Yelahanka bypass.
The other improvements will comprise six flyovers connecting major junctions, pedestrian and vehicular underpasses, and cattle crossings. The Rs 680 crore project has passed its second deadline and work is still under progress.
The High Speed Rail Link, which will run parallel to the expressway will further augment and allow for faster access to the airport.
Connectivity will be seamless from Mekhri Circle, serving surrounding areas such as R T Nagar, Ganganagar, Sanjaynagar, HMT Layout, Anandnagar, Hebbal, Kodigehalli, Amruthahalli, Jakkur, Yelahanka, Kogilu Cross, Bagalur Cross, Sahakarnagar, Vidyanagar, Chikkajala, Doddajala, Sadahalli Cross, IVC Road and Doddaballapur Road.