Hero Honda Chowk flyover closure leads to five-hour jam on NH-48
With a carriageway of the Hero Honda Chowk (HHC) flyover closed for the next six days, for span load testing, traffic was jammed on a 4.7km stretch of the Jaipur-Delhi side of the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway between 8.30am and 1.30pm on Wednesday.
It took commuters at least 45 minutes to traverse the 4.7km stretch, from the cloverleaf flyover to HHC, which otherwise takes around 10 minutes even during peak hours. The situation started improving after 1.30pm, after the number of vehicles on the route reduced and commuters became cognisant of diversions, traffic police officers said, adding the average time to cross the stretch for the rest of the day was about 15 minutes, including the evening rush hour.
“Commuters coming from Jaipur side are accustomed to heading straight via the HHC flyover towards Rajiv Chowk. A momentary confusion and stalling resulted in long tailbacks on the expressway. The situation started normalising after the volume of vehicles reduced and more commuters became aware of the traffic diversions and the closure of one carriageway of HHC flyover,” Shiv Archan, assistant commissioner of police (traffic), Gurugram, said.
According to ACP Archan, over 50 traffic police officers were deployed at the spot and along route diversions to guide commuters. “We advise commuters coming from the Jaipur side to use the toll bypass road for heading towards Delhi or take Khandsa Road to cross HHC till the diversions are in place. This will minimise the volume of traffic on the affected stretch,” he said.
Archan said traffic police currently do not have any fixed arrangement for the next five days, adding that they will act and respond in accordance with the situation.
Officials diverted vehicles heading towards Delhi and Gurugram from the toll bypass road, located 3km ahead of the Kherki Daula toll plaza, via the Southern Peripheral Road (SPR), Sohna Road, and Golf Course Extension Road.
Vehicles were also diverted before the cloverleaf flyover via Khandsa Road (an arterial road), running parallel to the expressway. They rejoined the highway just ahead of HHC, after taking a right from Anaj Mandi Chowk.
Instead of the flyover, commuters will have to use the service roads of National Highway (NH) 48 to head towards Delhi from the Jaipur side till September 26.
According to traffic police officers, the service lanes are not equipped to handle large volumes of traffic and that was the main reason for the heavy congestion on Wednesday. “The service lanes can’t sustain the large volume of vehicles as traffic is converging from three directions — those heading towards Delhi, those coming from Subhash Chowk, and those coming from Umang Bhardwaj Road. This situation will persist until the diversions are in place,” a senior Gurugram traffic police officer said, asking not to be named.
Traffic police said movement on the opposite carriageway, Delhi to Jaipur, was largely unaffected. Despite a public advisory issued on Tuesday, many commuters were unaware of the changes. “It took me over 40 minutes to cross the HHC congestion. Traffic was moving at a snail’s pace. If I were aware of the diversions, I would have taken the toll bypass road to reach my office,” said Rahul Sinha, who works in Sector 30.
Commuters also said they will not take expressway till next Tuesday when the flyover is expected to reopen. “It took me almost an hour to cross HHC today. Traffic moved slowly from the cloverleaf flyover to HHC, resulting in chaos. I will not drive on NH-48 and will use the toll bypass road instead to reach Delhi till the diversions are in place,” said Vijay Dhankhar, a resident of Sector 4, Manesar.
The 1.4km-long carriageway of the HHC flyover was closed to traffic on Wednesday for a six-day period for span load test being conducted by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).
The carriageway has developed wide holes twice Since April 2018. In May 2019, concrete chunks fell off the central lanes of the Jaipur-Delhi carriageway on the HHC flyover, creating 70X70 inch holes. The flyover was then closed for nearly four months for repairs. The same carriageway developed similar issues a year earlier in June 2018 as well. NHAI officials are conducting the test to ascertain if remedial measures have worked and if the carriageway can sustain a heavy load of traffic.
Read more at: