NHAI announces changes for elevated highway
The State Highway’s NH wing has undertaken the widening of the 23.2 km stretch into six lanes including the construction of three flyovers
CHENNAI: National Highways Authority of India has dropped the construction of three flyovers and a vehicular underpass on the Maduravoyal-Sriperumbudur stretch of Chennai Bengaluru Highway on the recommendation of the State Highway’s National Highways (NH) wing citing the construction of an elevated road along the stretch.
The State Highway’s NH wing has undertaken the widening of the 23.2 km stretch into six lanes including the construction of three flyovers on the busy junctions of Parivakkam, Thirumazhisai, and Thadalam and a vehicular underpass (VUP) at Nazrathpet as a deposit work of NHAI.
In a letter to Sheo Shankar Jha, Chief General Manager (T)-TN, NHAI, dated March 16, 2023, SP Somashekar, Regional Officer, Chennai, NHAI, wrote that the Chief Engineer, NH Wing of the State Highways, while submitting the revised estimate amounting to Rs 394.06 crore has mentioned that since the alignment of the 6-lane elevated highway is following the existing alignment of NH-4 and if the flyovers/VUP are constructed then the elevated highway has to be built over it which increases the overall cost of the project.
“The construction of the sub-structure and foundation of the proposed elevated corridor project will be difficult in the flyover/VUP portion. CE, NH has proposed for at-grade improvement of four intersections at Parivakkam, Nazarathpet, Thirumazhisai, and Thandalam and to de-scope the provisions of construction of flyover/VUP and accordingly has submitted the revised estimate,” he wrote.
In the 562nd meeting of the executive committee of the NHAI held on May 23 and 24 in New Delhi, it approved the proposal for de-scoping the flyovers and VUP from the road widening works.
Sources in the highway department said that dropping the construction of flyovers and VUP over the construction of an elevated road is not a sensible decision. “Considering the growth of traffic and development of the suburban localities, the local traffic volume would increase in the coming years. The construction of flyovers and underpasses at those intersections is needed for the local traffic who are not using the elevated road. “Moreover, the user fees for the elevated road would be 10 times the at-grade highways and not many would opt for it, “ sources said.
Sources added that since the elevated road would have only four entries and exits, the buses picking up employees and students of companies and educational institutions located along the stretch would be avoiding the elevated highway. “Hence the traffic snarls will continue to happen, “ sources said.
A Krishnaswamy, Poonamallee MLA (DMK) said that when he enquired about the delay in the construction of the flyovers and underpass, he was told that after completion of the six-laning works, the construction of the flyovers and underpass would be taken up.
“I was not aware of the plan to drop the flyovers and underpass and I would take it up with the concerned authorities, “ he said, adding that the construction of the flyovers and underpass is critical as traffic snarls at the intersections slowing down the movement of vehicles.
Somashekar told DT Next that proposed the elevated highway would decongest the traffic at the intersections. He said that no need for flyovers/VUP and an elevated highway at the four traffic intersections.