Were you dreading the bottleneck at the end of the Bandra-Worli sealink?
Well, there might be some respite. The state is planning two back-to-back flyovers that will help prevent bottlenecks at Worli Seaface, once the 5.6-km-long sealink has been opened to traffic.
The Maharashtra State Road development Corporation (MSRDC) has issued tenders for the flyovers along this stretch, to divert the cars that will zoom off the sealink and onto the narrow, four-lane Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan Road.
The flyovers are part of the traffic dispersal system the MSRDC is keen on putting in place before January 2009, when the link will become operational. Over 1.40 lakh vehicles are expected to use the cable-stayed sealink every day.
“It is going to be a traffic nightmare. We are trying out all possible options to avert major traffic jams,’’ said a senior bureaucrat, on condition of anonymity. For the first time, the state government is opting for prefabricated steel bridges instead of concrete, to save on time and finish the work within four months. Such bridges are assembled and then put on site, using steel decks instead of conventional concrete.
“The flyovers will be around 200 metres long, at an estimated cost of about Rs 10 crore each. We will be making use of prefabricated steel,” said MSRDC chief engineer S.V. Sabnis. The MSRDC bid documents are being issued from August 25 to September 9.
But many are still sceptical and say these measures will do little to avoid colossal traffic jams once the sealink is operational.
“There is no place to widen roads and these flyovers are not going to help in peak hours, when the cars will just descend on Worli. This just reflects poor planning by state authorities,” said a transport expert who did not wished to be named.
The Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority, the nodal authority for transport, held a session last month to brainstorm on how to control traffic at the Worli end of the link. Besides these two flyovers, recommended by Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Sanjay Barve, other traffic dispersal measures include skywalks for pedestrians, minor road widening and another flyover at Haji Ali.