CHENNAI: In a major setback to the Chennai Corporation, the Kodambakkam bridge, where restoration work was underway, was opened for traffic by the Chennai City Traffic Police(CCTP), after the duration of the permission granted to the civic body to complete the work expired.
Motorists driving on Kodambakkam High Road were pleasantly surprised to discover the traffic restrictions removed.
However, with work still incomplete on the nearly 50-year-old road over bridge, heavy vehicles are not permitted entry and will still have to take a detour via Rangarajapuram flyover to reach Liberty or Valluvar Kottam.
When City Express contacted Corporation officials, they expressed shock and disappointment at the CCTP’s decision to ignore their demands for an extension. Although, work on the expansion joints has been completed, the lane is yet to be topped with bitumen.
“We had conducted trial runs only the previous evening to test its strength. So, it came as a surprise when the traffic police cleared traffic to flow on the bridge,” said a Corporation official.
“We had sought another month’s extension to complete the rest of the work on the lane because railway work under the bridge had delayed our progress. Obviously, the extension request is yet to be cleared,” the official added.
Corporation officials also lamented the fact that the contractor of the project had been getting restless considering the innumerable delays encountered on the restoration project over the last few years.
Earlier, replacing the strip seals and elastomeric bearings on the bridge structure had caused damages on the road surface on the bridge, which prompted the repair works over the last couple of months.
“We are discussing the issue with our higher-ups and the problem will be sorted out soon. But, it is the public who will be frustrated again because we have to shut down the other lane now in a few weeks’ time,” the Corporation official said.
However, senior police officials in the traffic section told City Express that no extension request had been filed by the Chennai Corporation.
“We have not received any extension request from them. The duration that they had sought for the traffic diversion to remain in place expired. So, we removed it for the benefit of the public,” said a senior police official.
“If they place an extension request, we will grant it,” the official added.