Thursday, August 27, 2009

Future of Silk board junction

Who isn't excited about Hosur Road elevated expressway? While I too am looking forward to completion of this project - they say its on track and moving well - I do think that this thing will make managing traffic around silk board junction a bit tough.
Mornings should be good. Traffic would disappear south to Electronics City in a flash. However, that signal taking you right from BTM towards E-city would be a problem just as it is today. Unless they are planning a grade separators from Outer Ring Road, which I think they will be forced to.
Evening is when the problem would be. Vehicles would hit silk board at a much faster rate. Expressway would mean no flow control, and you may get 30 minutes of absolute chaos as opposed to 1.5 hours of painful chaos as it is today. Expect huge back up trying to take left towards BTM, and at the first signal that shows up after silk board flyover. Ditto for vehicles going turning right towards Sarajapur. Poor residents of BTM layout and Madiwala.
But if some other road projects show up as planned in that region, things would be better.

Bangalore Elevated Tollway Limited (BETL)

Bangalore Elevated Tollway Limited (BETL)
  Project Overview
Bangalore Elevated Tollway Limited (BETL) is the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) created by the Joint Venture (JV) with Nagarjuna Construction Company Ltd. (NCC) and Soma Enterprises Limited (SEL) to undertake the Construction of Elevated Highway Project of Bangalore – Hosur Section of NH 7 from Silk Board Junction to Electronic City Junction on Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) located in Bangalore for a 20-year Concession Period. This is a toll based project.
The project comes as part of the capacity improvement of the Bangalore-Hosur section with a four-lane elevated expressway, improvement and construction of six underpasses. The elevated expressway will run along close to 10 Km and relieve the overburdened land route between the Tamil Nadu’s industrial hub Hosur and IT corridor of Bangalore. 
  Cost and Timeline
The project's Financial Closure was in October, 2006 and construction has already begun. The road is expected to be in operation in September, 2008. The estimated cost of the project is Rs. 775 crores.
ClientNational Highways Authority of India
Project10 Km Bangalore Elevated Tollway
TypeUrban Infrastructure
CostRs. 775 crores
Timeline2 years. To be ready by September 2008
BenefitsAnswers the menacing traffic problems on Hosur Road and Electronic City stretch in South Bangalore, providing signal-free flow of traffic

Bangalore Elevated Tollway

The longest National Highway in the country, NH7, connecting Varanasi and Kanyakumari, is famous neither for mythology surrounding those two towns, nor for the lively towns it connects. Instead, the highway’s claim to national and international fame is a 9km jam on a stretch known as the Hosur Road in namma bengaLooru.
To ease the congestion between Silkboard Junction and Electronics City on Hosur Road, the NHAI commissioned the Bangalore Elevated Tollway Limited (BETL) in early 2006. BETL is a special purpose vehicle created by the joint venture consortium of Maytas Infra Nagarjuna Construction Company Ltd. (NCC) and Soma Enterprises Limited (SEL), to enhance the capacity of the road by constructing a new four-lane elevated tollway. (Hence the name.)
Apart from this, improvements to the "at grade" part include making it a 3x3 lane highway and adding 2 lane access roads over the storm water drains on both sides of it. Six underpasses for pedestrians along the 9 km stretch are also planned since the highway median prohibits pedestrian crossing.
While not much is known about how the road will look at the Silkboard end, Soma Enterprises has published renders of how the road is to look at the Electronic Eity end. (Click on the images for larger views**)

Shown below is the traffic flow diagram at the Electronics City end of the tollway based on these illustrations. The thick lines correspond to tollway(T/W) lanes, the thin lines correspond to highway(H/W) lanes, the black lanes are elevated, and the gray to black lanes are the ramps.
The flow to and from the tollway itself is easy to understand and appears to have been designed to flow smoothly.
But on the at grade highway, curiously, there seems to be no direct way for somebody from Silkboard or the BMIC PRR to get to Phase1. One has to either go all the way to point further South of the interchange, make a U-turn, head North again and then take exit E1* to Phase1. Or they have to take E2 on the highway, make U somewhere within Phase2 and then take ramps R6A-R6B before taking E1.
Similarly, it appears that for somebody from the EC Phase1 to take the highway South towards Attibele, or to go to EC Phase2, they have to initially head North on the highway, and then take a U-turn at . is also perhaps the point where you take a turn to get on to the BMIC PRR towards Mysore road. This could be a major bottle neck, because all this traffic is entering the highway from left and has to move to the right, to make the U-turn.

Around the interchange, the flow on the "at grade" highway also does not appear to be smooth. Around the interchange, the highway trickles down to 2 lanes in each direction. The flow from Silkboard and from BMIC PRR to either campuses of EC faces a 3 lanes to 2 lanes pinch at congestion point . At again, there is a 4 lane to 3 lane pinch: 2 lanes from EC Phase1 merge with 2 lanes carrying highway and EC Phase2 traffic heading North on the highway. At , the 2 tollway lanes conflict with 2 highway lanes heading South. Only is a 3 lane to 4 lane split that separates traffic towards EC and tollway to Silkboard from the remaining highway traffic headed North and should be easy.
Irrespective of which direction you are headed, if you are talking the at-grade highway, you are in for atleast 3 pinch points. Considering that the Hosur Road consistently clocks a massive 1.2 lakh PCUs/day, these pinches(including u-turns at and ) could be significant.

* E1,E2, R1 R2 etc., are names introduced here to discuss the flow. They are not thus named by BETL.

** Capture Credits: indiansunite @ SSC

Bangalore Elevated TollHighway Limited

Bangalore Elevated Tollway Limited (BETL) is the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) created to undertake the Construction, operation, maintenance of the elevated highway from Silk board junction (Benguluru) to Electronic city (Outer Benguluru).

Project Overview

The Project Road is a part of the capacity improvement of the Bangalore-Hosur section with a four-lane elevated expressway, of NH 7 from Silk Board Junction to Electronic City Junction the National Highway Development Program Phase 3A implemented by NHAI. The elevated expressway will run along close to 10 Km and relieve the overburden traffic. This is a BOT (Toll Basis) based project

Project Cost : Rs 7757 Million
Concession Authority : NHAI
Concession Period : 20 Years including Construct Period
Status : The project is in construction phase and the target date for the commercial operations is in March 2009.

Elevated Highway To Be Ready Soon

Come May, Bangalore will have first-of-its-kind nine-kilometre elevated highway linking Silk Board Junction and Electronics City. The project is being undertaken by Bangalore Elevated Tollway Ltd (BETL). The project is in the final stages of completion and will be thrown open to the public by the last week of May.
The highway will ease traffic flow and cut travel time. “At present, it takes almost 45 minutes to cover this distance. The highway will bring down the time to just 10 minutes,” said Manoj Kumar, Project Director of National Highway Authority of India (NHAI).

The highway is a four-lane overhead service. also there would be a main carriage way on the ground level, which will have three lanes on either sides and a two lane service road on either side, which will be totally 14 lanes.

“The prime idea was to address the menacing traffic problems on Hosur Road and Electronic City stretch in South Bangalore, providing signal-free flow of traffic, Kumar, added. According to NHAI, the work had under taken in two stages. In the first instance, the contractors called Soma Enterprises, Nagarjuna Construction Company and Maytas infrastructure had undertaken the ground work by widening the existing four-lane road and making service roads and provisions for drainage.
E lectronic City Industrial Association (ELCIA) stated that elevated highway, this mammoth project, executed by a consortium of three construction companies, is scheduled to be operational soon. ELELCIA has been the coordinating agency for the project. Being one of the longest elevated highways in the country, state of the art technology has been applied in its construction.

This involves off-site pre-cast modular interlocking segments being linked together serially on site.
People living in by the sides of this special highway feels that with the completion of the project, the IT industry hopes to get relief from traffic bottlenecks.

Some Pictures Of Construction Of BETL


The Expressway to Electronic City

Bangalore, like New Delhi, will soon have its own elevated express tollway which means quick travel time for thousands of IT professionals. The Rs 765 crore projects connects Bangalore to Electronic City and the expressway would come up on the Bangalore-Hosur section of NH-7. The 9-km stretch of elevated expressway is a Public-Private-Partnership, PPP, between the National Highways Authority of India and builders Soma-Nagarjuna-Maytas.

Presently, the Silk Board Junction (where the expressway would commence) alone takes a traffic strength of 1,20,00 vehicles per day. The expressway will be access-controlled, elevated fourlane road from Silk Board Junction to Electronic City on NH-7. As part of the project, the existing 4-lane section between Electronic City and the Tamil Nadu border would be widened to 6-lanes.Significantly, the 9-km stretch is a part of the Golden Quadrilateral and the North-South corridor and provides access to key players in the IT-BT spectrum. Announcing the details of the project on Friday, Ankineedu Maganti, director, Soma Enterprise Ltd (which has bagged the contract) explained the logistics.

"The expressway will facilitate thousands of IT professionals to drive on a fast lane and reduce travel time between Bangalore and Electronic City by over an hour." He dispelled apprehensions that real estate in the area would be affected during the period of construction saying that on the contrary, it would boom because of proximity to the expressway. To cater to the project, a special purpose vehicle has been formed called Bangalore Elevated Tollway Ltd. Once the project is done the consortium would operate the expressway for a period of 20 years.

"There has been some land acquisition but very little from the private domain. We are also aware that the Silk Board Junction was a crucial part during the deluge in Bangalore last year. Stormwater drains will be incorporated as part of our design" says Maganti. Logistics apart, here's the good news - travel time would be reduced from 1 hour to 10 minutes.