The Central Public Works Department (CPWD) has begun building an underpass and two flyovers in south Delhi’s Mahipalpur area, a project that will make the drive from Vasant Kunj to the Delhi airport signal-free.A deadline of March 2019 has been set for the constructions, which are crucial to decongest traffic to the airport that majorly relies on two major stretches — the Rao Tula Ram Marg (RTR)-Outer Ring Road stretch and the NH48 passing along the Delhi Cantonment from Dhaula Kuan. Traffic on both is usually heavy, particularly along the RTR where the delayed construction of a new flyover has significantly reduced usable space.The underpass and the new flyovers, part of the Mahipalpur bypass project, on the Vasant Kunj-Mahipalpur stretch will particularly help south Delhi commuters, cutting by at least 20 minutes the time taken to reach airport from Vasant Kunj. “This project will also decongest the existing Mahipalpur flyover and the traffic below it. During peak hours, it takes around 40 minutes to an hour to reach the airport from Vasant Kunj,” said a senior CPWD official, asking not to be named. The underpass, approximately 700 metre long, will be constructed near the existing Mahipalpur flyover on National Highway-8. One of the flyovers will come up near the northern access road (also known as airport approach road near Aerocity) and the other at the Vasant Kunj-Mahipalpur intersection. Both flyovers will be single carriageway, with the road beneath used for the opposite lane traffic.With the construction in full swing, authorities have cordoned off the area near Hanuman temple in Mahipalpur. The senior CPWD official quoted above said the project was approved by the Unified Traffic and Transportation Infrastructure (Planning and Engineering) Centre in January and constructions began in March. “We have completed around 5% to 7% work as of now,” the official added. The project will also provide a loop for commuters from Gurgaon going towards Vasant Kunj. This loop will start at NH-8 and merge at the underpass towards Vasant Kunj.Experts said the project will bring much-needed relief to traffic. “Commuters going to airport from Vasant Kunj road have to face massive traffic in and around Mahipalpur area. These two bridges and the underpass will give some relief... Its significance will increase as the airport is enhancing capacity to 80 million passengers yearly by 2021. So such an arrangement is necessary for smooth traffic flow,” said S Velmurugan, senior principal scientist in the traffic engineering and safety division at the Central Road Research Institute (CRRI).