The Tamil Nadu highways department has tweaked the 10-kilometre long airportIrumbuliyur elevated corridor project on GST Road to accommodate the proposed Chennai Metro Rail Ltd (CMRL) line till Kilambakkam.
While the facility will be a three-deck structure over grade separators or flyovers and remain at two levels along the rest of the alignment, the highways department will soon float tenders for preparing a detailed project report (DPR) that will decide if it will remain a two-deck structure or a threedeck facility along its entire stretch.
Three grade separators and a flyover, besides three foot-over bridges, are set to come up between the airport and Irumbuliyur junction. The elevated corridor will be 21 metres high when it is a threedeck facility and 14 metres tall when it runs along at two levels.
The decision comes after the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA), which had conducted a feasibility study report for the elevated corridor linking Chennai Airport and Chengalpet, decided to transfer the project to the highways department to execute it.
CMDA will, however, continue to be the coordinator for implemenation, sources with the planning authority said. The project is expected to be in tune with CMRL constructions proposed along the corridor. According to officials in the state highways department, the project will be confined to the stretch between the airport and Irumbuliyur since the road beyond comes under the purview of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).
“It has been decided that the elevated road will be over the metro rail corridor. However, the DPR will explore the kind of structure that will be suitable on this corridor,” a senior official said. Urban development experts point out that the proposed elevated corridor will be cost intensive. K P Subramanian, former professor of urban engineering at Anna University, said merely expanding road space could not be a solution to reduce traffic congestion, no matter how acute.
“Moreover, why are multiple infrastructure projects being concentrated on one particular corridor when other roads require attention,” he wondered.