Friday, October 23, 2009

Okalipuram bridge to bite dust

Okalipuram bridge to bite dust

BBMP says railways have okayed the building of a flyover in its place

Senthalir S. Bangalore



The Okalipuram railway bridge will be brought down to make way for a swanky flyover and a pedestrian bridge, as part of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) plan to smoothen the journey of thousands of motorists from Rajajinagar, Vijaynagar and Yeshwantpur commuting to the central business districts of the city.
Th flyover will be an extension of the Rajajinagar Signal Free Corridor proposed from Yeshwantpur to Okalipuram junction along Rajkumar Road and Vatal Nagaraj Road. The work on the corridor was inaugurated here on Wednesday.
"For the Rajajinagar signal-free corridor, the Okalipuram railway bridge has to be demolished. The new railway bridge will be built with a flyover below providing for free vehicular movement. At present, the road under the bridge is narrow and the space for vehicular movement is also less. Therefore, it has to be widened," said a senior BBMP official.
Earlier inaugurating the signal-free corridor works, Suresh Kumar, urban development minister, announced: "After a long wait, the Railways have given the green signal to go ahead with the flyover project. Both BBMP and railways will work together."
Studies have put the traffic density at Okalipuram junction at 9,000 passenger car units (pcu) per hour, most of which pass under the railway bridge as well. The traffic flow is expected to touch 15,000 pcu per hour by 2011.
The flyover project will, however, be taken up only after the completion of the work on the Rajajinagar signal-free corridor, which is the first of the 12 signal-free corridors proposed to be built in the city.
The Rajajinagar corridor comprises six underpasses at major junctions from Yeshwantpur to Okalipuram junction. "The underpasses will be constructed at a cost of Rs10.52crore and will be ready in eight months time. This project, which is a Deepavali gift to Bangalore West, will drastically cut down travel time," Suresh Kumar said and added that the project will come up in two phases: three underpasses will be built during each phase.
"In the first phase, we have started work on the Okalipuram junction underpass. We will then take up work at the Vivekananda junction and 10th cross," said another senior BBMP official.
"We have called for tenders for the 11 other signal-free corridor projects as well," said the official.
The Rajajinagar signal-free corridor is located in the north-west quadrant of Bangalore and connects NH-4 on the Tumkur side with the city centre, covering the Government Soap Factory junction in Yeshwanthpur to Okalipuram junction in the city centre, along Dr Rajkumar Road and Vatal Nagaraj Road. The pre-cast grade separators will be set up at a total of eight junctions, out of which, six would have underpasses, while the other two would be set up at the Soap Factory junction, where the Namma Metro work is going on, and the Rajajinagar Entrance, which already has a flyover.

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