- The project will be completed by December 2024 and it will serve as a dedicated freight corridor for Chennai-bound port traffic.
- It will increase the handling capacity of Chennai Port by 48 per cent and subsequently reduce the waiting time at the port by six hours.
Construction on the 20.5 km 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 soon.
The proposed elevated stretch will be developed in 4 sections and will start inside the Chennai Port and end after the Maduravoyal interchange.
The project is pending two clearances, and once they are acquired, work on the ground is expected to begin in May-June of this year, according to National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) officials.
The project will be carried out using the Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) model.
The Chennai Port, the State government and the Centre jointly implement the project.
A detailed Project Report (DPR) was prepared by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), the executing agency for the project.
In accordance with Prime Minister Gati Shakti programme, tenders for its construction were called in July.
Though the bids were invited in July 2022, NHAI could not finalise the one and complete the tender process as Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearance and the general area drawing clearance from the Southern Railway for two bridges to be built over the railway line at Chintadripet and at Nungambakkam are pending, reports Times Now.
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.
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.
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).
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 5,855 crore.