After the metro trial, another big-ticket project is set to start soon.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has finished laying bitumen (a tar-like substance) on the Orange gate to Panjarpol stretch of the Eastern Freeway. Now, a finishing touch is being given to the stretch, which will be ready in the next 15 days.
The stretch will help free traffic congestion and improve connectivity between south Mumbai and Panjarpol, benefiting commuters from Chembur, Mankhurd and Navi Mumbai.
The 16.4km Eastern Freeway is being built in three phases —a 9.3 km stretch from Orange gate to Anik junction, a 4.3 km stretch from Anik Junction to Panjarpol Link Road (APLR) and a 2.8 km stretch from Panjarpol to the Ghatkopar-Mankhurd Link Road (PGLR).
The first two phases are almost complete and are scheduled to be opened this month, but the third phase is not likely to be ready by this year.
DP Deshmukh, superintending engineer, MMRDA, said, “Owing to technical reasons, a small portion of the road had to be completed and surfaced with bitumen. We have finished surfacing the stretch. Electric work is now being carried out, which is likely to finish in a week’s time, so the stretch should be ready in 15 days.”
However, the MMRDA has not yet decided when the stretch will be thrown open to public.
The MMRDA has also started installing steel crash barriers in the median across the freeway in order to stop any vehicle from crossing over to the opposite lane.
“We have installed one metre steel barriers in the median across the major portion of the stretch. The rest of the work will be finished in a week. If any vehicle crashes against these barriers, it will stay on the same side of the road, thus minimising the severity of the accident,” Deshmukh said.