Elephant Gate bridge work forces motorists to take long route

With fuel prices continuing to spike, this impacts common people who are forced to travel additional 3 – 5 kilometres every day.
Elephant Gate bridge
Elephant Gate bridge

CHENNAI: Even as commuters from North Chennai are relieved from heavy traffic near Basin Bridge and Vallalar Nagar for the past one year, they are forced to take long routes to reach Purasaiwakkam due to the reconstruction work of Elephant Gate Bridge, which was closed for over four years.

With fuel prices continuing to spike, this impacts common people who are forced to travel additional 3 – 5 kilometres every day.

Elephant Gate bridge construction
Elephant Gate bridge construction

Elephant Gate bridge is an important link road traveling from Sowcarpet, Kondithope, Broadway, and other surrounding areas not in use for more than five years. The bridge near Salt Cotaurs was closed for cars and heavy vehicles for the demolition and reconstruction of a new bridge as it became weak. Later, in 2020 the construction work was taken by the Greater Chennai Corporation and Southern Railway.

“Earlier, we waited more than an hour to cross the signal near Vallalar Nagar to reach Basin Bridge. Owing to the bottleneck traffic the traffic police diverted vehicles to different routes. But still, we should take at least 30 – 45 minutes from Purasaiwakkam to Mint. They have also closed a shortest route from Basin Bridge to Vallalar Nagar, so we must take a ride for an extra 2 km to reach that place. Now, with the sudden surge in petrol prices it is difficult to manage things,” said T Narayanan, a resident of Seven-Wells Street, George Town.

People have been facing inconvenience due to the delay in reconstruction work. The bridge has been used as a shortcut from North Chennai. Whereas to the bridge work the vehicles from Wall Tax Road to Demellows use the Basin Bridge.

“The reconstruction work of Elephant Gate Bridge is going at a slow pace; we are tired of taking long routes. It is one of the important links and the bridge was not functional for over five years. During the rainy season the situation is even worse because the road will be flooded and people should wait for hours, ” said U Parthipan, a motorist.

So far, the Greater Chennai Corporation completed the under-pathway construction from Salt Cotorus to the opposite road and reinforced the Earth Wall in the bridge. “The Southern Railway has started with flyers filling work and pillars, and soon we will begin the adjacent work. The work from the corporation will be completed by November, and Southern railway may take another month. The entire reconstruction work is expected to finish and reopen for public use in December, ” said a senior official from the Corporation.

Meanwhile, civic authorities have taken up stormwater drain work, which connects to a baby canal where the water flows through Buckingham Canal.

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