KOCHI: The commercial capital of Kerala is set to get a new look as the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), which is working on a proposal to construct a 16.7km-long elevated highway from Edappally to Aroor, plans to align the elevated corridor above the Kochi Metro viaduct, at Vyttila and Edappally junctions.
The congested and narrow Edappally-Aroor stretch of NH 66 has the highest vehicular density in the state and the NHAI after inspections has realized that an elevated highway is the best to avoid the congestion. Keeping this in mind, the NHAI authorities are preparing a detailed project report (DPR) with an elevated structure, as part of the ongoing road widening works on NH 66.
“After exploring various options, we are actively considering aligning the elevated highway stretch at Vyttila and Edappally, above the Metro viaduct,” said a senior official with NHAI. The Kochi Metro viaduct is at a height of 18 to 19 metres from road level at the two junctions. Since there are flyovers at these junctions, the proposed elevated structure can be constructed only above the Metro viaduct.
This is not the first time that the NHAI is mooting an elevated corridor at such a height. Work on Chennai’s 21km-long double-decker elevated corridor at a height of 20m (66 ft) from Chennai Port to Maduravoyal in Tamil Nadu is expected to begin soon. While the first layer of the corridor will be for the light vehicles, the upper layer will be for heavy freight vehicles.
To start the feasibility study on the proposed elevated highway starting from the Oberon Mall area, the NHAI officials, Hibi Eden, MP, and representatives of the DPR consultants conducted an inspection at the Oberon Mall area of the bypass road recently.
“The agency that is conducting the feasibility study and preparing the DPR has suggested to begin the highway from Edappally and also to align the structure above the Metro viaduct, at Edappally and Vyttila. It is practical and futuristic too,” said Ernakulam MP Hibi Eden. He added that the topographic and satellite surveys for the project would begin soon.
The development of Edappally-Aroor stretch of the national highway is crucial as the proposed Angamaly-Kundannoor bypass, Kochi-Theni national highway and the national highway stretch connecting Willingdon Island connects with NH 66 on this stretch.
According to NHAI sources, the feasibility study would be over in a month and the DPR would be ready in three months.
NHAI officials have informed that the technical experts of Highway Engineering Consultants, which is the agency preparing DPR and a feasibility report for the elevated road, will also consider the existing flyovers at Palarivattom and Kundannoor while preparing the DPR.