Saturday, January 26, 2008

Smooth passage to Devanahalli

Smooth passage to Devanahalli
The National Highways Authority of India is extending the service road along the entire Bellary Road stretch so that traffic from nearby areas doesn’t get onto the main highway. S Kushala finds out how this will help commuters

Bangalore: Could the drive to Bangalore International Airport at Devanahalli be a little bit smoother? The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is doing its bit to improve the passage by upgrading the National Highway 7 by developing service roads.
A 7-metre-wide service road will be developed on either side of Bellary Road starting from Hebbal to prevent the local traffic from entering the highway. Currently, a 5-metrewide service road exists on a few stretches and without the cover on either side, vehicles enter the highway without any hindrance.
“Once the service road is built along entire stretch, commuters travelling towards villages, Yelahanka town or other areas can use it instead of entering the highway and disturbing the high-speed traffic. We will close major intersections so that traffic is not hindered,’’ NHAI officials told The Times of India. Very few intersections will be opened and people will have to travel some distance before crossing the road, they said.
The busy Bellary Road clocks 20,000 passenger car units (PCU) per day. According to a study conducted by the Bangalore International Airport Ltd, nearly 11.5 million passengers will fly out of Bangalore, which breaks down to 40,000 PCUs per day on the highway.
In the second leg, the NHAI proposes to take up three flyovers on the stretch. Under this, the construction of a continuous ramp is being seen as a relief to the swelling traffic in future — a 4-km elevated road from Hebbal (ahead of the existing clover-loop flyover at Hebbal) to Yelahanka has been proposed. The project, to be taken up on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis, will also comprise two more small flyovers after Yelahanka at two intersections. “Earlier, seven flyovers were proposed and now it has been narrowed to three. The elevated road will come in place of four small flyovers,’’ officials said.
After the jinxed expressway project, the authorities wanted to initiate some short-term measures which can be implemented to improve connectivity. Hence, a feasibility study was commissioned on further improvements to NH7. Upgradation of the NH and elevated road, among several other suggestions, are the result of that study. While the proposed 22-km access-controlled Expressway connecting the Outer Ring Road to Devanahalli is still on paper, the highspeed rail link is gathering momentum and work is expected to commence by this year-end.
The widening of National Highway 7 from Hebbal to Devanahalli was taken up much before the Bangalore International Airport at Devanahalli was proposed. The road was widened to 60 metre with three lanes on each side with central median and service roads at a total cost of Rs 122 crore. Nearly 69 hectares of land, both government and private, were acquired for the upgradation and the road was designed to last five years without maintenance.
The Hebbal corridor improvement project began from widening of road. The BBMP’s five magic-box underpasses coming up on the stretch will ease the traffic. The Hebbal flyover will take vehicles to the highway. Those travelling towards other adjacent areas will take service roads. The airport traffic will hit the highway.
The 4-km elevated road, a speed-rail link and, if everything goes as per schedule, a 22-km access-controlled Expressway will script smooth passage.
Upgradation of 120-km Dobbspet-Sarjapur road to divert truck traffic. The existing stretch is in a bad state. Eight roads identified around the Bangalore International Airport for improvement. The National Highways of PWD will take up the project. Installation of signages and signboards along the corridor. A dedicated corridor for Bus Rapid Transit System from Hebbal to airport.


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