The plan to create the city’s first underpass along one of its busiest stretches came closer to becoming a reality on Friday, with the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) floating a tender to build an underground intersection at Kalanagar, Bandra (East), to ease traffic flow on the Western Express Highway (WEH). The almost 2km-long underpass will cost an estimated Rs 470 crore.
“We are scouting for national and international consultancy services who will help us create a detailed project report,” said additional metropolitan commissioner SVR Srinivas.
The MMRDA plans to construct two underpasses, from Kalanagar junction in Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) to Kherwadi junction on the highway. This is one of the most gridlocked stretches in Mumbai as traffic from four major roads in the eastern and western suburbs and south Mumbai converge here.
According to the proposal, a 1,300-metre tunnelled road from Block E of BKC to the Kherwadi junction will accommodate east-west traffic, while a 600-metre underground road from the Indian Oil Corporation office off the WEH to BKC will accommodate vehicles going from south Mumbai to the eastern suburbs. “The underpasses will go a long way in improving traffic flow on the highway,” Srinivas said.
The MMRDA had first proposed the underpass in July, but was asked by the CM to consider building a flyover instead. The flyover plan was shelved because its intended path was blocked by an existing skywalk.