As Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) plans to begin work on the phase-2 network by June 2020, it is taking steps to ensure smooth flow of traffic during the construction work. CMRL came up with this idea after traffic movement in the core parts of the city such as Anna Salai, Poonamallee High Road and Arcot Road were severely affected during the construction of the 45km phase-1, which took almost a decade.
As per the construction plan for phase II of Chennai Metro, Sturdy steel sheets will be laid on the road to cover underground construction sites. The sheets will replace barricading, which takes up most part of the road causing congestion.
CMRL will use the metal sheets to cover all trenches dug to build underground station boxes along the 118.9-km phase-2. Called the decking technique, metal sheets about 5mm thick will be placed on the roads to cover shafts sunk into the soil on either side of the road for the construction of underground stations and tunnels, a metro rail official said.
A portion of these large shafts will later serve as the entry/exit points to the station. The sheets, which will be on the road level, will be 3m wide on either side of the road and sturdy enough to withstand heavy vehicles and traffic movement. The sheets will also have support railing underneath.
“Decking will ensure continuous movement of traffic. This is one of the new methods we are adopting to minimise hassles for commuters during phase-2 work,” a metro rail official said.
While the sides will have the metal sheets replacing barricades, the centre of the road above planned underground metro stations, where the soil will be cut open, will be barricaded. “We may barricade the sides of the road only when we build the underground station’s diaphragm wall. Otherwise, we would occupy only the centre of the road,” the official said.