CHENNAI: The dream of cruising along on an eight-lane highway, hitherto unavailable in Tamil Nadu, might become a reality in the near future. The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is in the process of identifying a consultant who would prepare the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the 93-kilometre stretch between Tambaram and Tindivanam on National Highway 45.
Presently, the identified route has four lanes, for which work started in 2002 and was completed two years later. However, traffic movement has significantly increased in recent years, with NHAI officials estimating that about around 70,000 vehicles pass through every day. This has led to traffic congestion at several points, most notably at Perungalathur, where the Chennai Bypass meets NH 45, Vandalur and Guduvancherry.
“Earlier attempts to widen the road to six lanes failed. We have now called for tenders inviting eligible consultants to prepare the DPR. The process is expected to take about two months,” an NHAI official told Express.
If the eight-lane highway does come up, it will be the first such corridor in the State. At present, officials say the maximum is the six lanes between Walajahpet and Hosur on the Chennai-Bengaluru highway. Another stretch where a similar six-lane facility has been proposed is the Chennai-Tada highway, a project which has been on the backburner.
Anticipating land acquisition issues, NHAI has mooted that the proposed eight-lane corridor between Tambaram and Tindivanam could be elevated on certain portions. With the corridor expected to facilitate high-speed movement, the entrance and exit will be controlled by the use of ramps, incorporated into the design of the highway.
“The selected consultant will be responsible for drawing up the plan, by considering all factors including land availability and trees to be felled,” the official said.
The proposed widening of NH 45 is being welcomed by residents, as there are several congestion points on the road. “Traffic congestion is a common affair in the evening hours, especially during festive days. The planned eight-lane facility will be of immense benefit, as now even the service lane is used by vehicles,” Janakiraman D, a resident of Guduvancherry said.