OMR-ECR link project: 1.4 km long bridge to soon be a reality

The State Highways Department is all set to take up the Old Mahabalipuram Road (OMR) and East Coast Road (ECR) link project by constructing a bridge over the Buckingham canal which runs parallel to the two highways.
OMR-ECR link project: 1.4 km long bridge to soon be a reality

Chennai

The proposed link road would run a distance of 1.4 km from Neelankarai on ECR crossing Buckingham canal, and passes through Okkiyam Thoraipakkam to reach the OMR-Pallavaram Thoraipakkam Radial Road junction. The Highways Department has invited bids to construct 860 m of the link road along with a bridge across the canal from the OMR junction in the first phase.
 According to a Senior Highways Department official, with the existing link roads are in Tiruvanmiyur and Akkarai nearly 10 km apart, the proposed link road would provide people living along ECR to reach the city easier and also ease traffic congestion at Sholinganallur and Tiruvanmiyur junctions.
 When the link road works are completed, it would divert about 40 per cent of traffic from the OMR-Pallavaram Thoraipakkam radial road junction.
 The official said that the sanctioned project cost for the link road was revised downwards to Rs 180 crore from Rs 204 crore originally sanctioned in 2014 due to the decision to take up the work in two phases. The project cost includes land acquisition cost.
 As per the new proposal, the official said that it was decided to proceed with the formation of a link road from OMR to Buckingham Canal and improve the parallel road to the canal as it would provide connectivity to ECR through existing roads beyond the canal to ease the traffic congestion at OMR, Sholinganallur and Tiruvanmiyur junction.
 “Remaining stretches from the canal to Neelankarai as per the original sanction will be taken up after completion of land acquisition in Neelankarai. Hence the proposed link road will be 860 metres,” the official said, adding that the decision to split the project into two phases was taken following the trouble they faced in acquiring land on the Neelakarai side.
 The link road would be six-lane with central median.
 The Highways Department official noted that the width of the existing canal road, which is perpendicular to the link road alignment, is 3.5 m. “Considering the volume of traffic, we will improve the existing canal road to intermediate lane standard of 5.5 m width. Hence the canal road will be widened for additional 2 m width,” the official added.
 Meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu Road Development Corporation, which built both the OMR and ECR, has proposed to construct a rotary-type grade separator at the OMR-Pallavaram Thoraipakkam Radial Road junction to ease traffic congestion on the busy junction.

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