BHUBANESWAR: The State Government has revived the underpass project, which will connect Station Square to Sishu Bhawan Square in the Capital City. Work for 1.65 km stretch is slated to start from mid-November. The Works Department has already invited tender for the Rs 41.22 crore project and the bids will be opened on August 7.
When completed, this will be the first ever motorable underpass of Bhubaneswar. Passenger carriers like buses, light motor vehicles and two-wheelers will be able to ply on the underpass that was put in the cold storage after initial days of work, three years back. The underpass project was planned along with the Raj Mahal fly-over bridge.
Now the project has been revived with the State Government sanctioning its administrative approval to it on July 27.
According to Chief Engineer (Roads) Bharat Chandra Pradhan, the entire length of the underpass will be 1.17 km and the approach roads measure 420 metres from Raj Mahal Square and 60 metres from Sishu Bhawan Square sides. The total length of the stretch will be 1.65 km.
“When the fly-over project began, we had started work for the underpass too. A 39 metre stretch was dug up under the central pillars of the fly-over and later covered under slabs,” Pradhan said on Thursday.
The project is expected to be completed in about 18 months. Pradhan said once the tenders are opened and work is awarded, excavation work should start during middle of November. This underpass, the Chief Engineer said, will provide a major breather to the traffic approaching Sishu Bhawan Square from Station Square.
With the Raj Mahal fly-over not able to clear the vehicular logjam, as expected from the bridge, the junction had emerged as a picture of traffic mess during the peak hours. Initially, there was a roundabout to facilitate traffic flow but it led to chaos during the evening hours. Subsequently, the Works Department created a change over along the road near Bapuji Nagar-Unit I. This did not solve the problem as commuters had to take a U-turn to go towards Unit I. The problem on the other side - between Raj Mahal and Station Square - was equally bad as change-overs led to heavy jam during the peak hours.
“The underpass will solve the major traffic congestion issues since those approaching from Kalpana Square can either take the fly-over or use the approach roads to reach Bapuji Nagar or Unit I. Similarly, commuters heading towards airport from Station Square can take the underpass,” Pradhan said.
Apart from Rs 41.22 crore for underpass, another Rs 2.17 crore has been earmarked for the shifting of electrical equipment, PHD utilities, streetlights as well as tree felling and re-plantation.