The first bowstring girder flyover in the suburbs, in Eshwari Nagar of Pallavaram, is expected to be completed by January next year.
The under-construction road overbridge (ROB) to replace the railway level crossing in Eshwari Nagar on the Old Grand Southern Trunk Road, is modelled on the Napier bridge and the one in Velachery.
The two-lane structure will be 650 metres long and 7.5 metres wide — enough for two MTC buses — and have neatlylaid ramps. The structure will have about 240 streetlights.
Channels on both sides are expected to discharge excess rain water into a collection pit below. To help commuters reach the Pallavaram railway station, a staircase has been provided. The bridge, when complete, is likely to bring cheer to thousands of residents of Pallavaram, Keelkattalai, Tirisulam and Zamin Royapettah.
There was a long delay as Southern Railway commenced its portion of work only in late 2010 citing manpower shortage. “At any given time, only two projects can be taken up with the existing manpower. The Tambaram Sanatorium and Pallavaram flyovers have opened and work on a bridge in Tambaram is nearing completion,” railway sources said.
The highways department completed its part of the project, including building ramps on either side of the rail line and laying bitumen-topped service lanes, in March 2008.
According to railway officials, the bowstring girder flyover, unlike usual models which have 16-metre long spans across the railway line, will have two spans with a total length of 48 metres over the rail line.
Since concrete pillars cannot be raised on the track, the spans will provide strength to the bridge and hold it from above. “Our share of the work is estimated to cost . 2.4 crore while the rest is borne by the state highways department. We expect to complete the work by January,” said Southern Railway sources.
In 1999, the railways decided to replace all level crossings between Chennai Beach and Tambaram either with a subway or a bridge. In this case, the actual work began in 2003 but was stopped after a few months due to land acquisition problems. The work resumed in 2007 and was completed in March 2008.
“Except for a small portion in Keelkattai, the rest of the land belonged to the defence ministry and acquiring it was a major hurdle,” Southern Railway sources said.