The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is all set to build seven minor bridges on the service lanes along Tiruchi-Chennai Bypass Road meeting the need of residents ever since the highway was made four-lane nearly a decade back.
Absence of service lanes across canals and drains had left service lanes disjointed at many places. Sources in the NHAI, which executed the four-lane project, said that construction of seven minor bridges, at a total cost of ₹11.77 crore, has been sanctioned and the work is expected to begin in a week or so.
“The concessionaire for the section will execute the project,” the sources said. The minor bridges will be built across canals near Thiruvanaikovil, Sarkarpalayam, ARK Nagar in Palpannai and Senthaneerpuram. The minor bridges would be built with crash barriers to ensure safety of road users.
Ever since the highway was made into a four-lane road, lack of continuity of service lanes across minor bridges between Senthaneerpuram and the Cauvery bridge have been posing a threat to road users.
The issue was taken up with the Union Minister Pon.Radhakrishnan who had inspected the spot in 2015 and assured action on this and another demand for construction of an underpass at Kondayampettai intersection.
Chaotic traffic conditions prevailed near the Kumbakonathan Salai-Chennai Bypass Road intersection, Sanjeevi Nagar and Oyamari Road intersection as service lanes at these spots cater to huge traffic.
As the service lane do not run across canals/drains, vehicles were forced to move over to the main carriageway of the highway. Often, vehicles have to sneak across the main carriageway against speeding traffic coming in the opposite direction.
“The disjointed service lanes on both sides posed a grave danger as vehicles travel at high speed on the highway and unwary motorists are often caught off-guard when vehicles come in the opposite direction unexpectedly,” said Kathiresan, a resident of Ariyamangalam.
The construction of service lanes would come as a big relief to motorists, said residents. Welcoming the sanction of the bridge, M.Sekaran, president, Federation of the Consumer and Service Organisations, said the federation had filed a public interest litigation on the matter and appreciated the NHAI decision to fulfil the long pending demand of the public.