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Old 20th February 2017, 16:43   #10351
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For your information. During my recent unplanned trip to Kerala, found another good place for a break Sai Sangeet @ Thoppur.
For quite some time, I have been avoiding the refugee camp at A2B, Thoppur. The place is crowded and toilets etc. are not in the best shape. Worst case, I still used the point to fill up my fuel tank. If I was hungry, then what I used to do was to cross over to the opposite lane at Vaigundam and then have food at Saravana Bhavan out there.

Yesterday, I decided to stop at Sai Sangeeth which is around 2kms after the Thoppur toll. Had my wife & kid and some guests, and every one did really find the food to be awesome. I am not a food expert (with poor taste buds, and generally can have food from any small outlet), but the ladies really appreciated the food served. A Masala dosa is around Rs.90, and a plate of idly is around Rs. 35 (approx). The place also have a shop selling curious, "designer articles" on the ground floor. If you have people who are very "shopping" friendly, I am warning you .
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Old 21st February 2017, 10:17   #10352
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Drilling of first tunnel of Kuthiran is complete now. As per reports both tunnels will be open for traffic by May 2017.
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Old 21st February 2017, 11:49   #10353
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Originally Posted by arjithin View Post
Drilling of first tunnel of Kuthiran is complete now.
My WhatsApp account is flooding with images of the tunnel being open for some "trial runs". Most likely I may have to make a trip towards that side this coming week end.
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Old 21st February 2017, 18:43   #10354
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both tunnels will be open for traffic by May 2017.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sachinpk View Post
My WhatsApp account is flooding with images of the tunnel being open for some "trial runs".
That would be quite an achievement
There was a long bridge that serves as the approach to the tunnel entry from the Alathur side and this was nowhere near completion during my last trip in last week of January, so I'd be surprised if they've completed the work so quickly.
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Old 21st February 2017, 18:51   #10355
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Originally Posted by sachinpk View Post
My WhatsApp account is flooding with images of the tunnel being open for some "trial runs". Most likely I may have to make a trip towards that side this coming week end.
Seems genuine and atleast trials seems to have started of some sorts, how are they going to complete the approach bridge at Palghat end is the only question that comes.
All Roads to Kerala-img_0117.jpg

All Roads to Kerala-img_0118.jpg

All Roads to Kerala-img_0119.jpg
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Old 21st February 2017, 19:08   #10356
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Look at this pic received on Whatapp this morning
Tunnel is open and can see up & down traffic! I think it should be a hoax! Men wearing Dhoti (Mundu) seems to be in Kerala, Vehicles including private cars and container trucks are moving. None of the number plates are clear.
Look at the top portion of the tunnel! Not covered or protected from possible fall and people are happily taking photos! Can it be a trial run. Would anyone allow private cars to go in for trial runs? Wish, it could only be a "Photo shop creation" or simple hoax!
Attached Thumbnails
All Roads to Kerala-img20170221wa0003.jpg  

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Old 21st February 2017, 19:11   #10357
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Tunnel is open and can see up & down traffic! I think it should be a hoax! Men wearing Dhoti (Mundu) seems to be in Kerala, Vehicles including private cars and container trucks are moving. None of the number plates are clear.
Look at the top portion of the tunnel! Not covered or protected from possible fall and people are happily taking photos! Can it be a trial run.
Traffic is only on way, the other vehicles are mostly construction related vehicles parked on side.

This seems to be a "private trial run" , one of the car seems to have the MLA sticker at back. Let us wait for some evening news, things should become more clearer by then. Yes the roof work is still not completed along with lot of other finishing work.
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Old 21st February 2017, 19:19   #10358
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This seems to be a "private trial run" , one of the car seems to have the MLA sticker at back. Let us wait for some evening news, things should become more clearer by then. Yes the roof work is still not completed along with lot of other finishing work.
Read in one of the newspapers today that the MLA, Panchayath president etc all visited the tunnel from one end to other. So most probably its a private trial.

How can they contractor work if traffic is allowed inside? Moreover its a big safety hazard.

but I wont be surprised if people override the safety barriers and take this route during the next traffic jam
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Old 21st February 2017, 19:34   #10359
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Originally Posted by Jaggu View Post
Traffic is only on way, the other vehicles are mostly construction related vehicles parked on side.

This seems to be a "private trial run" , one of the car seems to have the MLA sticker at back. Let us wait for some evening news, things should become more clearer by then. Yes the roof work is still not completed along with lot of other finishing work.
With more pics from Jaggu, it is clear that
1. only one way traffic is going on
2. the vehicles seen in the opposite direction are parked along with the construction material.

Further from today's Malayala Manorama report, the tunnel is 10 Meters in height, 14 Meters wide with 3 lane traffic. The pics seems to confirm on this.

But, one most important thing to remember would be, God forbidden; if something untoward happens during this so called trials, there won't be any insurance coverage or protection.
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Old 21st February 2017, 20:39   #10360
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One of the regional paper Mathrubhumi report attached. As per this the first tunnel will be ready for transport by May 2017. The second tunnel has another 250 meters left for completion of tunneling which is expected by April. Currently the height of the tunnel is 7 meter which will be made as 10 meter by excavating another 3 meter at the bottom of the opened tunnel. Two tunnels are 24 meters apart and at every 300 meters both the tunnels will be connected.

http://www.mathrubhumi.com/print-edi...nnel-1.1745253

English version below
http://english.mathrubhumi.com/news/...iran-1.1747559

Last edited by Sree73 : 21st February 2017 at 20:45.
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Old 21st February 2017, 20:40   #10361
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Originally Posted by arjithin View Post
Read in one of the newspapers today that the MLA, Panchayath president etc all visited the tunnel from one end to other. So most probably its a private trial.
Yep.

http://www.mangalam.com/news/detail/...test-news.html
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Old 25th February 2017, 10:10   #10362
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Travelled from Bangalore to Edappally yesterday. A quick update:
Route: Hosur - Salem - Palakkad - Thrissur - Edappally (Took the regular straight highway)
Started: 7:00 AM
Reached: 4:30 PM
Stops: 3 (total around 1 hr 15 mins)
Pace was moderate for most of the journey since I was in the run-in phase of my car.

Highway until Salem is, as usual, in good condition. Due to the long weekend, there were longish lines at the tolls. The Thoppur toll is the busiest and least efficient. I was expecting the Salem flyover construction to pose some challenges. But they are doing a clean job and traffic was smooth (don't know if yesterday around 9 AM was an exception or the norm).

Highway from Salem until Neelambur, the start of L&T bypass, is also in top condition. Tolls had fewer queues on this section. Due to flyover construction at Neelambur, the entire traffic going to Coimbatore has to take a right from the main highway and it had bunched up quite a bit with all lanes blocked with right turning traffic.

L&T bypass, once a pleasure, is now a pain. Some vague indication of potential widening exist in places but overall you need to content with dense slow lorry traffic and "I am faster than thou" cars weaving in an out.

End of L&T bypass, from Marappalam, until Walayar border is better now than before but one needs to keep speeds in check since there are several section joins that are yet to be smoothed out. So after a smooth fast section, you'll suddenly encounter a sudden dip and then a sudden rise. But it is still a much better drive than before.

Walayar to Vadakkumchery, road surface is good but there are around 8 signals already with potential for more. What I found strange also is that the highway gets a green for 15 - 30 seconds whereas the red is for 60 seconds. Could be a painful experience during rush times.

Vadakkumchery to Mannuthi, lot of work in progress. So lot of bad patches and some narrow stretches to negotiate. Also, need to watch out for potholes so keep a good distance from the vehicle in front to see what suddenly reveals from under its wheels. However, it is promising to see work happening at a good pace and if they keep it up it this section could get much smoother in 6 - 8 months time. Some flyovers may take a bit more time but the overall journey should still get much better.

Mannuthi to Edappally is like a city main road with quite dense traffic and signals. I also found the overall discipline in this section to be on the decline. Aluva metro work seem to have reached final stages and the highway below is now in good condition.

Some other observations:
There is road work happening on the Thoppur section towards Bangalore and could have traffic pile up often. There is a new Aryas restaurant on the section between Walayar and Marappalam on the side towards Coimbatore. There is also a new Saravana Bhavan between Palakkad and Walayar on the side towards Walayar.

Wish you all a safe and fun ride!
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Old 25th February 2017, 10:16   #10363
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[b]

End of L&T bypass, from Marappalam, until Walayar border is better now than before but one needs to keep speeds in check since there are several section joins that are yet to be smoothed out. So after a smooth fast section, you'll suddenly encounter a sudden dip and then a sudden rise. But it is still a much better drive than before.
Need to be very careful in this section because of the smooth open roads and sudden dips - I saw an Omni, who had to brake suddenly, being rear ended by a heavily laden truck, which was not able to stop in time. The Omni was sent flying. Luckily no fatalities, though some serious injuries
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Old 27th February 2017, 12:42   #10364
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Another Kerala & return trip made during the last week end.

Onward leg: Friday morning 0400Hours.
A very good relaxed drive. I was expecting a bigger crowd out there, because many people had Shiv Rathri holiday, but that was not the case. Did not try to rush through, just kept a steady pace of 100-110kmph. By around 0700Hrs reached Saravana Bhavan at Vaigundam. Even in Salem town did not find much problem due to the fly-over work.

Took a good break of around an hour at Saravana Bhavan, and then continued to the drive at a sedate pace. By around 0945Hrs-1000Hrs we reached the L&T byepass area. Was expecting some trouble there too as the PM was to arrive at Sulur Air port for a function near Madukkarai. He was to take the L&T byepass route. Luckily his arrival was around 20 minutes later, so could just have a cool drive on L&T byepass as well.

The stretch between L&T byepass and Walayar border also has improved a lot. The newly raid four lane highway which byepasses towns like KG Chavadi etc has improved. But the roads are yet to be levelled and properly marked. But overall I felt the journey through this stretch is more comfortable now.

Walayar to Wadakkancheri again had good roads, but there were traffic lights pretty much every 2-3kms. And had to stop almost at every one of them. I feel that even after the four laning is complete, these traffic lights are going to cause problems for the drivers. After Wadakkancheri it is "work in progress" and so speed was very much reduced. Did not try to rush through and resort to rash driving. The tunneling work at Kuthiran was going on at full swing. I felt that they were right on schedule. Mannuthi town got me confused as most of the land marks I know are now blocked by the fly overs getting constructed etc. Reached Mannuthi by around 1150Hrs.

Return leg: Friday morning 1400Hours.
Started from Palakkad suburbs, and reached the L&T byepass at around 1540Hrs. It was a tragi-comic drive then for quite some time. The toll receipt waving at L&T byepass was irritating. Plus a moron private bus messed up the straight movement at the Pollachi road jn. Lost 5-6 minutes there. At the next toll booth two-three slow moving trucks also messed up a smooth flow. A vehicle which was in "convoy mode" with us, escaped these two and then we only saw them at Vaigundam. I was in a real fowl mood for quite some. Even with the time saved with the FasTag could not help us get close to the other vehicle. So all it required to mess up a good convoy (and relaxed trip) was the trailer trucks and and private commuter bus.

From Vaigundam, I noticed that the number of vehicles on the road was increasing. Luckily Salem byepass road did not have many blocks. At Thoppur toll booth it was back to the old story; over crowded toll lanes and very slow movement of vehicles. It was around 1900-1910hours by then. Decided to take the Palacode-Rayakottai road, and soon took the deviation from NH7.

On the state highway I could steadily maintain speeds of 90-100kmph. The roads are well marked (and with proper sign boards). There were local traffic, but generally did not find any rash drivers. The bad patches were there after Halaseebam till Hosur town (I guess this road is Hosur district territory). But other wise from Palacode byepass till Rayakottai town, the roads were really good. Reached Hosur town limits by around 2040hrs. Crossed into KA state at TVS check post. The KA road from there till Athibele was not in a good shape (marked difference from TN state roads to KA state roads), but now it is even worse. They are now relaying this stretch, and now at many places it is a loose metal road. Reached Attibele circle at 2105hrs.

To be frank, on the Palacode-Athibele stretch at times I felt I was the pilot vehicle going ahead of a VIP vehicle. Steady speed, very disciplined drivers ahead of me and well maintained roads. Since I had plotted the route in MapMyIndia GPS device no wrong turns or rude surprises. The second vehicle also could just follow us at a safe distance. Felt the drive was much better than an over crowded Thoppur-Krishnagiri-Soolagiri-Athibele four lane highway.


My FasTag experiences are in here.. (FASTag: All you need to know about procuring & using it!)
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Old 27th February 2017, 19:18   #10365
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Originally Posted by sachinpk View Post
Another Kerala & return trip made during the last week end.


The toll receipt waving at L&T byepass was irritating.

My FasTag experiences are in here.. (FASTag: All you need to know about procuring & using it!)
Hi, Sachinpk, Here is a simple solution for "toll receipt waving" problem at L&T Byepass: Just temporarily fix the Toll receipt by inserting it between the window glass and inside beading of front RH window, with the toll receipt facing outside. At the toll gate, slow down.... with your Right fore finger direct the toll gate fellow's attention to your toll receipt. He glances at it , lifts the barrier and off you go. This method works and i have used this successfully for the last couple of transits through the L&T byepass.
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