The stretch will be the first in the state to have 24 toll lanes, 12 each on both sides of the road, when the works get over by mid-2022.
When the NHAI completes the six-laning of Sriperumbudur-Walajahpet stretch of the Chennai-Bengaluru Highway in mid-2022, the two plazas in the stretch will be the first in the state to have 12 toll lanes each on both sides of the road as per the stipulated norm. At present, the toll plazas at Nemili in Sriperumbudur and Chennasamudram in Walajahpet have five toll lanes on both sides of the road but witness traffic congestion because of heavy traffic movement. Almost all the toll plazas in the state have five toll lanes on both sides of the road, irrespective of its carriageway width.
According to the latest NHAI norms, a single-lane highway should have four toll lanes to ensure uninterrupted movement of traffic through toll plazas. “So the six-lane stretch of the Sriperumbudur-Walajahpet stretch of the Chennai-Bengaluru Highway would have 24 toll lanes with 12 each on both sides of the highway. It will ease movement of vehicles at the toll plazas at Nemili in Sriperumbudur and Chennasamudram in Walajahpet,” said a senior NHAI official.
The six-laning of the 70-km stretch from Sriperumbudur to Walajahpet in two parts has been taken up after the termination of the contract awarded to the concessionaire in 2012. The contract for six-laning of the 34-km Sriperumbudur-Karaipettai section has been awarded to KMC Construction Ltd for an amount of Rs 654 crore.
“The contractor started the six-laning work in May 2019. Till November, the contractor achieved physical progress of 1.27 per cent in the section. The scheduled date of completion is May 23, 2021,” an NHAI official said. The widening of the 36-km Karaipettai to Walajahpet section has been given to SPK and Co for an amount of Rs 533 crore. “The contractor has completed 4.60 per cent of the widening work till November last year. The six-laning work is scheduled to be completed in February 2021,” the official noted.
NHAI official said the contractors are maintaining the existing portion of the road and are carrying out the pothole and patch-repair works.
Motorists heading to Bengaluru or Vellore or Hosur via Koyambedu often complain about the pothole-ridden 23-km Maduravoyal-Sriperumbudur stretch.
“Once we cross the Chennai Bypass at Maduravoyal, the vehicular movement will slow down as it approaches the Vanagaram intersection and again at the Vellappanchavadi junction. Vehicles pile up for nearly a kilometre on either side of the highway at the intersection of the Poonamallee-Pattabiram High Road,” said an MTC driver.
The Madras High Court in November last year took suo motu cognisance of the abysmal condition of National Highway (NH)-4 between Maduravoyal here and Walajahpet falling under the newly carved out Ranipet district.
“We have filed our affidavit explaining various steps taken by us to improve the road condition in the stretch including the ongoing six-laning works,” the NHAI official said.
NHAI official said considering the traffic intensity and because of the development on both sides of the road, it has been proposed to provide a six-lane elevated corridor from Madurovayal to Sriperumbudur as part of the Greenfield Bengaluru-Chennai Expressway. “We have appointed VAX Consultants Pvt Ltd in a joint venture with L&T Infrastructure Engineering Ltd to examine the feasibility and DPR study to provide six-lane elevated corridor. It is still in progress,” the official said, adding in the meantime the maintenance of the road is being taken up.
“The road’s condition at the three junctions of Vanagaram, Vellappanchavadi and Parivakkam is getting frequently damaged because of the percolation of water into the bituminous pavement, due to the constant spilling of water from the water tankers. To overcome this difficulty, it was decided to provide rigid concrete pavement at the three junctions at a cost of about Rs 10 crore. The traffic could not be stopped as the vehicular movement is over one lakh passenger car unit (PCU). The model code of conduct for the Lok Sabha polls last year further delayed the works,” the NHAI official said.
With the traffic police allowing the works to be taken up in phases without affecting the vehicular movement, the official said a portion of the stretch at Vanagaram and Vellappanchavadi has been made concrete and open to traffic. “Work on the remaining portion of the two junctions would be completed soon. The work on the Parivakkam junction is awaiting traffic police nod,” the official noted.
- Considering the traffic and the development on both sides of the road, it has been proposed to provide a six-lane elevated corridor from Madurovayal to Sriperumbudur
- The corridor will be part of the greenfield Bengaluru-Chennai Expressway and consultants have been appointed to examine its feasibility
- The maintenance of the road is being taken up to make the stretch pothole-free and motorable