The ECR widening project is waiting for approval from the Centre to restart its operations. The two contractors that had been appointed for the road widening, transforming it into a four-lane stretch from the current two lanes, have started mobilising men and machinery. They are awaiting a final nod from the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) for performing the ground-breaking ceremony.
The State government issued the NOC for the road widening project recently, and the letter is forwarded to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) headquarters. They are waiting for their approval and have requested the contractors to wait for some time. Contracts are awarded for two packages till Mugaiyur for a total cost of Rs 1,500 crore and the land acquisition for the same will cost approximately Rs 600 crore.
The third package which will be connecting the road with the bypass to Puducherry shall be awarded by September as there are certain changes that have been made to the alignment. The authorities will be bypassing Auroville and Puducherry. A new alignment is fixed for the road between Villupuram and Puducherry. The advantage of this move is that the traffic meant for Cuddalore and further should not enter the tourist town. They will connect it with the ECR bypass.
Upon the completion of the work, ECR shall have an 8.5 m wide carriageway having paved shoulders on both sides and a median. Service lanes will be provided on all built-up stretches. The total cost of the project will be around Rs 3,000 crore. As the NHAI takes possession of the road from the Tamil Nadu Road Development Company (TNRDC), it would have toll plazas only on Uthandi and Kelambakkam.