Link-flyover to unshackle KR Puram bridge gridlock

Link-flyover to unshackle KR Puram bridge gridlock

Direct Benniganahalli - Lowry junction flyover proposed to bypass chaos under the cable-stayed bridge

Link-flyover to unshackle KR Puram bridge gridlock

Designed to decongest, the KR Puram cable-stayed bridge had instead turned traffic stopper years ago. The bridge’s poor architecture meant the Outer Ring Road would abruptly squeeze to a traffic bottleneck of chaotic proportions at this critical junction. A late, desperate attempt is now proposed to rescue the commuters and ease the ORR traffic flow.

Here’s what is in the pipeline: A flyover to link the existing ORR grade separator at Benniganahalli near Tin Factory to the Ring Road flyover that lands at Lowry junction, the intersection with ITPL main road. Once this comes up, ORR vehicles from Hebbal side could entirely bypass the KR Puram bridge and continue their Ring road journey towards Marathahalli and beyond.

Currently, vehicles that descend from Benniganahalli flyover move on Swamy Vivekananda Road to the left of the bridge, and turn right under the bridge towards the ORR leading to Marathahalli. The trigger for the extreme congestion under the bridge is the KR Puram railway station. Absolute chaos during peak hours effectively breaks the ORR completely at this point.

To tide over this taxing bottleneck, the city traffic police had suggested a flyover that cuts across the Old Madras Road before the bridge, leading to the ORR on the right. Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) is ready with a design, although actual construction could take years. The extension of the Namma Metro East-West line from Baiyappanahalli to Whitefield under Phase 2 at this point could also complicate matters.

Study findings

A recent study under the CM’s Outer Ring Road Improvement Project had indicated the bus stop right at the ascent of the bridge as a key cause for congestion. A bus bay a few metres ahead of the bridge is under utilized since buses hardly stop there. This often leads to pedestrian crashes and vehicular queues at the bridge, slowing down the ORR traffic in the process.

Unauthorised parking under the bridge is another factor. A bus stop at this point catering mainly to alighting passengers from KR Puram railway station builds queues of about a kilometre during peak hours. “Absence of a refuge island also creates pedestrian-vehicle conflict at this point,” the study notes.

At the Lowry junction of ORR and ITPL main road, the study shows a clear lack of pedestrian facilities. There are no refuge islands or continuous footpath along the corridor. A flyover linking Benniganahalli with Lowry junction could potentially bypass these issues, as former Additional Commissioner of Police, Traffic, MA Saleem put it.

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