The concrete pillars that would support the carriageway are almost complete.
Coming up on Elephant Gate Main Road — which connects Choolai Main Road and Wall Tax Road — the new bridge takes the place of a British-era bridge.
The old bridge did not have much of load to take — supplies from port were transported to the Central railway station and British settlements in the northern parts of Madras through pushcarts. Pushcarts continue to be a lifeline for many traders in George Town.
Even after the British era, for many decades, the pushcars would be wheeled through Elephant Gate bridge transport goods picked up from wholesale units in Choolai, Perambur, Korukkupet, Tondiarpet, Washermenpet, Purasawalkam and Tiruvottiyur.
“Early completion of the bridge work will help ease traffic congestion on Wall Tax Road especially during rush hour. The new bridge should also be pedestrian-friendly as the facility will connect the Basin Bridge railway station,” said K. Rajesh, a motorist from Park Town.
The new facility, which is being built jointly by the Chennai Corporation and Southern Railway, will cost ₹ 26.45 crore. While the length of the bridge will be increased from 47 metres to 155 metres to accommodate more railway tracks below it, there is no plan to increase its width above 20 metres. The total length of the reconstructed bridge will be 575 metres, including the length of the two ramps leading from Raja Muthiah Salai (Choolai Main Road) and Wall Tax Road. The two arms of the bridge will each be 7.5 metres wide. As the Basin Bridge railway station handles a large volume of freight and passenger traffic every day with limited rail lines, a detailed plan is being made to operate trains on alternative tracks for the bridge work above the rail lines.
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