In an attempt to decongest and ensure a smooth commute to commuters using the approach road to Madurai international airport, the state highways department has started widening the 2.5km-two-way road between Avaniyapuram and Perungudi into a four-lane road at a total cost of 12.57 crore.
The Avaniyapuram bypass – Perungudi stretch of the Madurai-Thoothukudi state highways road was the only two-way road among all approach roads to the airport as all others were converted into four-lane in the last decade.
Recently, after improving two culverts on the 2.5kilometre stretch, the state highways department started sectioning the road after the land acquisition got over. State highways assistant divisional engineer A Kuttiyan said the existing 10-metre-wide two-lane road will be converted into a 17.5-metre-wide four-lane with median width of 2.5 metres.
“The road will be exactly similar to the other approach roads to Madurai airport with space for decorative plants inside the median area and adequate lighting facilities,” he said. He added that the project will be completed in the next two months.
S Raja, a resident of Avaniyapuram, said that as the road comes under the city corporation limits it was not handed over to the state highways before as the corporation was laying drinking water pipelines. “Now again, the road is sectioned by the state highways department. I hope they don’t damage any drainage or drinking water pipeline,” he said.
A corporation official said that in December 2022, after finishing all pipeline works, the road was handed over to the state highways department. They were given details about the depth of the sewage pipelines and drinking water pipeline so that they didn’t damage any pipelines while laying the road.
When the corporation planned to announce 15 binless roads in the city, there was a demand that this stretch should also be made a binless corridor as many commuters use it to reach the airport. As a trial, the Arupukottai main road was announced as binless corridor a month ago.
T Nageshwaran, a traffic activist from Sellur, said, “All approach roads to Madurai airport will be four lane after this project is completed, which is a welcome move. But, Mandela Nagar junction, which is on this stretch, should also be improved though it is not part of this project.”