CHENNAI: A flyover connecting the Old Mahabalipuram Road and the East Coast Road is now a step closer to reality. The design of the flyover that would start near Tidel Park on OMR and land on ECR was given a go-ahead by a technical committee of the state highways department that met a few days ago. “The alignment of the flyover was decided in December last. Now we have decided where the arms will come and where exactly the flyover will land,” said an official of the state highways department.
TOI was the first to report when the alignment committee gave its nod in December last. The flyover will begin just after the small bridge on the Buckingham Canal on West Avenue Road. It will then cross the much-dreaded Lattice Bridge Road junction, turn right and then land on ECR near the Thiruvanmiyur RTO. “The final detailed project report will be submitted in three months. A tender will then be floated and work on land acquisition will start in a year,” said the official.
This is touted to be one of the most expensive flyovers in the city, given its size. “The cost has been estimated at Rs 400 crore,” said the official.
Unlike previous projects, land acquisition will be completed before construction begins. “This is to ensure that cost of construction doesn’t keep increasing with delays in land acquisition,” said the engineer. Construction of flyovers in Porur, Moolakadai and Thirumangalam has been delayed due to land acquisition issues.
Commuters on the stretch say that while the flyover would make a difference, the Tidel Park junction is still a bigger problem. “This flyover will make a difference, albeit a small one. It is a temporary solution and the bigger problem is at Tidel Park,” said Suresh Menon, a cinematographer who has been working with the Chennai Traffic Police on solutions for traffic management in the area. “While one would take 10 minutes to cross the traffic signal at LB Road, it takes at least 45 minutes to cross Tidel Park signal. Coming from Madhya Kailash, traffic piles up well past Thiruvanmiyur MRTS station,” he said.
Earlier this year, the state government announced that a 45-km elevated road would connect Madhya Kailash and Mahabalipuram. “We will soon appoint a consultant to study the feasibility of this project as well,” said a highways engineer.
Additional commissioner of police (traffic) Karuna Sagar said this was the only real solution in sight. “There is nothing else we can do to manage the traffic flow. It takes more than one signal cycle to clear traffic and hopefully the situation will improve after these projects,” he said.