The project will serve as a dedicated freight corridor for Chennai bound port traffic and increase the handling capacity of Chennai Port by 48 per cent and reduce the waiting time at the port by 6 hours
Construction on the 20.6km double-decker elevated highway between Chennai Port and Maduravoyal, which is being built at a cost of Rs 5,855 crore, is set to begin at the end of this financial year.
The two-tier, four-lane elevated corridor will be built in four sections. The 12-kilometre section of the 20.6-kilometre corridor will be double-decked.
It is between Maduravoyal on the Chennai-Bengaluru highway and the Napier bridge, which is close to the Chennai Port gate.
In accordance with Prime Minister Gati Shakti programme, tenders for its construction were called in July. However, the bids could not be finalised because the project was awaiting Indian Railways’ clearance of the coastal regulation zone and approval.
According to an NHAI official, Indian Railways needs to approve the drawing because the elevated roadway crosses railway lines in two places. The agreement would be executed with the selected bidder by the end of the current financial year.
“We are pursuing it and it may happen shortly. We are extending the bids for these two issues,” the NHAI official added, reports The New Indian Express.
The project will be carried out using the Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) model. A detailed Project Report (DPR) was prepared by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), the executing agency for the project.
The Chennai Port, the State government and the Centre jointly implement the project.
The first level of the corridor facilitates the movement of light vehicles between Koyambedu and Chennai Port. The corridor has ramps for entry and exit at 13 different locations. They include Chintadripet, Monteith Road, Binny Road, Spurtank Road, Aminjikarai police station, Kamaraj Salai, Sivananda Salai, College Road and Arumbakkam.
The second level was designed specifically for heavy motor vehicles between Chennai Port and Maduravoyal. Currently, cargo traffic from the south or west region of the state has to detour through the Outer Ring Road at Perungalathur towards Maduravoyal, Red Hills, Tiruvottiyur and enter the Chennai port in Royapuram — nearly 75 km away, taking about two hours. However, using the proposed elevated corridor, it will take just 45 minutes.
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh laid the foundation stone for Chennai Port-Maduravoyal Elevated Expressway in 2009. However, the project encountered many controversies because of alignment issues and had to be shelved. Ten years ago, the corridor was going to cost Rs 1,819 crore, but now it will cost Rs 5,862 crore.
The elevated corridor will aid in efficiently moving cargo in and out of the Chennai Port. Trucks are entering and exiting the port through Royapuram, the port’s northern end. The new elevated structure will allow entry and exit through the port’s southern end in the city centre.
In May 2022, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the cornerstone. 40,000 passenger car units can be accommodated on the elevated corridor each day. This will result in 6,500 trailers per day when converted (six car units = one trailer).
Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said that the project developed will be completed by December 2024.
The project will serve as a dedicated freight corridor for Chennai-bound port traffic and increase the handling capacity of Chennai Port by 48 per cent and reduce the waiting time at the port by 6 hours, the Minister added.