The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will soon widen two minor road bridges crossing irrigation canals between No.1 Tollgate and Samayapuram on the Tiruchi-Padalur section of the Tiruchi-Chennai National Highway.
NHAI forwarded the decision in response to a petition from road safety activist, N. Saravanan of Puthunampatti, who had called for the existing narrow bridges to be widened for the benefit of worshipers undertaking padayatra at the Mariamman Temple in Samayapuram.
In his plea, Mr Saravanan pointed out that the road bridges crossing Panguni Vaical near Koothur village and Peruvalai Vaical near Pallividai on the highway were not widened when the four-lane project was executed on the Tiruchi section. -Padalur by NHAI in 2005.
Drivers of two-wheelers and pedestrians, in particular padayatris at the Samayapuram Mariamman Temple, faced many difficulties while crossing the narrow bridges amid the high-speed traffic on the highway. Most padayatris from various parts of the state converged on Toll No. 1 and headed towards Samayapuram, he pointed out.
Responding to the call, NHAI Project Manager, Project Implementation Unit (PIU), Tiruchi, said the widening of the bridges would be resumed after the approval of the estimates. PIU officials also inspected existing bridges on Monday.
NHAI sources pointed out that the narrow bridges were located on one carriageway on the stretch and the other carriageway had three-lane bridges. The existing narrow bridges to Padalur would be widened into three-lane bridges. Project estimates will soon be prepared and sent for approval.
Welcoming the move, Mr Saravanan said widening the bridge would help improve road safety. He urged NHAI to explore the feasibility of constructing an exclusive No. 1 toll lane at Samayapuram similar to that between Dindigul and Palani. He also pleaded for the strengthening of equipment for padayatris by building public toilets and installing lampposts every 100 meters on the stretch.