Closure of Elephant Gate bridge for a reconstruction exercise is having a dramatic effect on traffic movement at the flyover
Basin Bridge flyover is being given a facelift after many years, and the exercise is part of a larger project — the reconstruction of Elephant Gate bridge.
For the last few weeks, the damaged concrete median on all four arms of the flyover, including those designed for traffic towards Mint and Perambur and its connecting roads, which include Wall Tax Road and Basin Bridge Main Road, is being rebuilt by the State Highways Department.
The median will be three feet high and space will be provided for installation of new street light poles. Reflectors, warning signboards and steel railings especially along the railway line will also be installed.
“Raising the median is expected to keep pedestrians from climbing over it and crossing the bridge suddenly,” says K. Gokul, a motorist from Broadway.
With traffic changes introduced at Wall Tax Road and Basin Bridge junction in 2019 to facilitate renovation of Elephant Gate Bridge by the Southern Railway, many motorists are using an alternative route that includes Basin Bridge flyover.
That has had a dramatic effect on the traffic on the flyover.
“Vehicular traffic on Basin Bridge flyover moves sluggishly, especially during rush hour,” says Gokul.
Basin Bridge is also a key MTC bus route for buses coming from Broadway and Egmore bus terminus.
As part of the facelift, Basin Bridge flyover was relaid, especially its carriageway towards the railway station with neatly laid footpath, before the complete lockdown in March.
In the Mint direction, the damaged low-level concrete median on the flyover was demolished, and in its place, a new three-feet high median was raised. At present, a long high-mast lamp in the centre of the bridge — where the ramps of the flyover are spread out in four directions — is the only lighting available on the facility.
Another significant measure taken by the traffic police to ease traffic on the Basin Bridge flyover is preventing vehicles including MTC buses from Park Town and Elephant Gate from proceeding straight towards Mint.
Instead, these vehicles have to take a ‘U’ turn, around one km way, below the new flyover in Vyasarpadi. This helps reduce the waiting time of other motorists at the narrow intersection on the Basin Bridge flyover. This new traffic arrangement has been in place since August when more lockdown restrictions were eased in the city.
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