Friday, June 24, 2005

Yaw(r)n: NHAI will build stilted highway

NHAI will build stilted highway

The Hindu

Rs. 450-crore project from Silk Board to Electronics City to be built on BOT basis

BANGALORE: Work will soon begin on the 9.5-km. stilted expressway on Hosur Road. To be built by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), when completed it will be the longest such highway in the country.

The project is estimated at Rs. 450 crores with the Union and State governments providing Rs. 300 crores. The balance will be invested by the designated contractor on a "build, operate, transfer" (BOT) basis. The expressway will be completed in two years. The expressway will start from the Central Silk Board junction and reach Phase I and II of Electronics City; the stilted expressway will have no traffic signals throughout its length so that travel time is reduced.

The vociferous protests of the Information Technology companies that even threatened to relocate outside Karnataka made the Government to approve the project.

According to executives of Span Consultants Pvt. Ltd., who are supervising the design, there will be four elevated lanes and 10 ground-level lanes. One special feature is that no concreting work will be done on site. The segments will be pre-cast and all other prefabricated components such as supporting structures for the elevated roads will be brought to site by huge trailers.

Giant cranes will lift the prefabricated components to the superstructure. This means traffic on the highway will not be affected during construction. Close to 80 tonnes of material will be handled every day. The site of construction will be barricaded with the remaining portions of the road used by vehicles. The government reportedly favoured a private BOT component in the project for specific reasons. The BOT contractor is not likely to allow time over-run and will maintain cost effectiveness so that there is reasonable return on investment.

The contract terms provide for toll collection from vehicles using the expressway, for a stipulated period after the road is opened to traffic.

Those using the expressway can buy tickets at the designated booths. Those working in IT firms in Electronics City can use pre-paid magnetic cards that can be swiped at the tollgates. Vehicles that regularly ply on the expressway are likely to be fitted with a sensor that will be recognised by a computer system at the tollgate.


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