Chennai: The new contractor, who has been awarded work to build viaduct and stations, has started building a trench to take the line below the surface under the air funnel area between OTA and Meenambakkam stations. Work was stalled for some time after an earlier contract failed.
The elevated metro rail line from Alandur dips below surface for around 500m after it crosses Officers Training Academy (OTA) station, and comes out and reaches Meenambakkam metro station. The alignment goes underground to prevent it from becoming a hindrance for flights landing on the second runway.
Work has picked up pace to build the trench outside the compound wall of the airport near Trident Hotel on GST Road. Two ramps that will take the line into the trench are complete. “Digging here is tricky. We need permission from the airport to use heavy machinery because the work spot is close to the runway,” said an official. The airport has started using the second runway when the main runway is closed for maintenance.
A good portion of the cut-and-cover trench is over, and concreting of the floor and the walls are going on. Once work is complete, the trench will be covered.
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This stretch had landed in trouble after airport objected to metro rail having an elevated line. ITD Cementation is carrying out the trench work and URC Construction is doing the work on the viaduct and stations at OTA and Meenambakkam.
Metro rail was planning to complete work of the airport line from Little Mount to airport by the end of the year. The line is part of the Washermanpet-Saidapet-airport line.
Viaduct is complete from Little Mount to OTA while structural work of the stations — OTA, Meenambakkam and airport — on the route has been completed. Plastering and roof work is going on at these stations.