The piling work for flyover construction has narrowed the busy four-lane road into a single lane, causing a huge traffic block . Following complaints, the Public Works Department National Highways division has stepped in to find a solution and the District Collector has reviewed the situation.
KOCHI: Crossing the Vyttila Junction has become a harrowing experience for road users with the PWD occupying a major portion of the road for flyover construction. The piling work for the flyover is apace but the road in the busy stretch has narrowed into a single lane leaving only one lane on both sides for vehicles to proceed.
“The traffic is crawling in the one-km stretch and it is a frustrating experience waiting in the long queue negotiating bumper-to-bumper traffic. It took around one hour for me to cross the Vyttila junction,” said a motorist.
Commuters complain the construction firm executing the piling work has occupied most part of the road adding to the woes of the road users. Traffic comes to a grinding halt during peak hours and the row of vehicles often stretch to more than a km on Edappally - Aroor stretch and Kadavanthra - Tripunithura stretch.
Perturbed by the complaints of chaotic traffic, the Public Works Department (PWD) National Highways division has stepped in to find a solution. “We are considering steps to ease the traffic at Vyttila Junction. District Collector Mohammed Y Safeerulla visited the spot on Wednesday to discuss steps for traffic decongestion. One of the proposals is to remove the pedestrian walkway and provide more space for the motorists. The partition on the Aroor side of the road near the signal point will be removed.
We are planning to level the road and blacktop it to facilitate free flow of traffic,” said a senior officer of the PWD NH Division. “We are using direct mud circulation (DMC) piling for foundation work as the foundation need a depth of around 60 m. Though we have brought seven rigs for work, we are not able to use three of them owing to lack of space. Vyttila is the busiest intersection in the state and we are not able to occupy sufficient space for piling work. This has affected the pace of the work but DMC is more effective than hydraulic piling and the PWD also has specified DMC piling, “ said Rajeev, site engineer of Unitec Foundations, the agency executing the piling work.
“It is a six-lane flyover with a width of 24 m. There are 15 piers and we need 140 pile foundations. We have already completed 72 pile foundations and the plan is to complete the work by June. There have been some changes in the design and two spans of the flyover extend to the rail over bridge on the northern side of the flyover,” said Raju Chacko of Unitec Foundations. However, the lack of coordination between various government departments has affected the pace of the work.
There are pipelines of the Water Authority and underground cables of KSEB passing underneath and the authorities concerned are yet to initiate steps to remove the pipeline and cables to facilitate the piling work. The Metro Rail work at the intersection is also posing hurdles to the flyover work. Mounting the beam would be a major challenge as there is no space to park the trucks and crane, said an officer.