Friday, April 20, 2007

Roads to international airport

Roads to international airport
High-tech roads are being planned to make travel to the new international airport smooth, also opening up opportunities for real estate development

The Times of India

Bangalore is fast-developing into a burgeoning metropolis. Despite being a technology hub, the lack of an international airport has deprived the city so far of quick international travel connections. With work on the new airport gaining pace, the question that's on everybody's mind is the connectivity to the airport from different parts of the city.
A 21.56 km long Airport Expressway is being constructed from Outer Ring Road to the new international airport to provide alternative and quick access to the new airport. With the construction of this high speed, six-lane expressway with a designed speed of 180 km per hour, the drive to the airport from the Outer Ring Road should only take 15 minutes. Elevated roads, crossovers and interchanges with international standards promise to make the drive to the airport a smooth one. The expressway, to be constructed on buildown-operate-transfer basis (BOOT) will also have two flyovers over Chellekere tank and Bailihalli tanks with intersections on State Highway 104, according to Sudhir Krishna, Principal Secretary, PWD (with additional charge of BMRDA). The expressway will cross perpendicular to the Peripheral Ring Road.
A pre-bid meeting is just over and tenders have been called for - the last date for which is the first week of May. The project, taken up at a cost of Rs 1,000 crores, will be completed in a year's time. The task ahead is not too easy as the terrain is undulating and passes over tanks and culverts, according to Sudhir Krishna Further, the Hebbal flyover to Devanahalli via Yelahanka will also be provided with underpasses and service roads to ease traffic pressure on roads leading to the airport till the expressway is completed.
Phase II of the project will have the six-lane expressway touch the Inner Core Ring Road for easy access to the city from the international airport. The Inner Core Ring Road is a major initiative that's likely to decongest the city area and enable the citizens to easily commute from one part of the city to another without traffic snarls. The tolled, signal free corridor of 30 km on existing road alignment would be taken up under public-private partnership (PPP) basis with grants from the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission.
The airport expressway will further join the proposed Satellite Town Ring Roads (STRR). The 204 km long, 90 metre-wide STRR will connect towns around Bangalore city to each other and to the international airport. In the north, the expressway will further stretch beyond Devanahalli to satellite towns in Doddaballapur, Hoskote and Dobspet areas to make the airport accessible from all sides. The Doddaballapur-Vijayapur bypass leading to NH 7 will also be developed into a fourlane road at a cost of Rs 2 crores.
North Package I: A 58 km stretch from Devanahalli to Dobbaspet, Doddaballapur and Devanahalli.
North package II: A 67 km stretch from Devnahalli to Hoskote and Attibele.
South Package I: A 97 km stretch from Attibele to Anekal-Kanakapura and Ramnagar
South package II: This will be a 75 km long stretch from Ramnagar to Dobbaspet.
The Peripheral Ring Road (PRR) itself is an eight-lane carriageway with service roads of three lanes on either side. It will have major junctions across national highways and State highways with interchanges for a signal-free corridor.
PRR phases
Phase 1: A 65 km stretch from Tumkur Road to Hosur Road crossing Bellary Road, Old Madras Road, Varthur Road and Sarjapur Road.
Phase II: A 51 km stretch from Hosur Road to Tumkur Road, crossing Kanakapura Road, Mysore Road and Magadi Road.
Apart from this, the stateof-the-art Tunnel Road from BDA junction to Minsk square junction will be taken up for construction this year, at a cost of Rs 50 crores. This Tunnel Road would provide for a signal-free corridor from the city centre to the international airport that's coming up.
Land prices shoot up
With so many major developments happening in and around the airport, land rates in the area have a hit a new high. According to Farook Mahmood, Managing Director, Silverline Realty, there's a mad scramble to buy property in and around the airport. Property rates have gone up ten fold. An acre of land that cost Rs 7 to 8 lakhs two years ago, costs Rs 80 lakhs to Rs 1.5 crores today. The demand is mostly from investors and not need-based. Anyway, commercial development won't be allowed along the expressway on the Hennur Road side as the proposed road is a toll road and will be barricaded. Commercial development can happen along the Bellary Road side.


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