CHENNAI: It has been four months since the Elephant Gate bridge was closed for demolition but due to a delay by TANGEDCO in transferring the underlying high tension power lines, the demolition still has not been completed. Railway officials said they were ready to demolish the bridge and reconstruct the central part, while the Corporation would build the western and eastern side slopes. “However, we are awaiting for high-transmission lines to be shifted, which is expected to take place within a month,’’ said the railways official. The railways have just removed asphalt in a few spots on the bridge.
Though traffic police has barricaded the entry points, two-wheelers manage to lift their bikes and cross the dilapidated bridge. This is mainly due to beat the heavy traffic on diversion routes. According to the diversions, vehicles heading to Demellows Road from Wall Tax Road can now use the Basin Bridge or take a two-km detour through Wall Tax Road (Central Station), take a right to Raja Muthiah and come back to Choolai. Vehicles from Demellows Road heading to Wall Tax Rod or Mint can use the Basin Bridge. Traffic officials said the diversion will remain till reconstruction of the bridge.
About 5000 people have signed in the online petition platform ‘Change.org’ expressing their everyday discomfort as the demolition has not started yet. After almost two centuries, officials decided to demolish the bridge in 2017. The corporation then announced that it would spend `26.45 crore to reconstruct the East and West slopes while the central part, constructed by railways, will be extended from 50 to 150m. However, it never took off due to Tangedco not finding a spot to shift the lines. Now that, they have found a spot, the delay is due to shifting the lines. When contacted, Tangedco officials said construction of substation nearby was over and work is on to shift the electric lines.
Diversion to remain
Traffic officials said the diversion for all vehicles will remain till reconstruction of the Elephant Gate bridge.