The 10.5-km Bandra-Versova coastal link, part of the Western Freeway project, meant to reduce commute time from Worli to Andheri to 30 minutes, is most likely to be part coastal road and part sea bridge.
This is being done to save the mangroves from destruction, officials said.
Public works minister Jaydutt Kshirsagar, who is also in charge of the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), told HT this was the most feasible option.
“Consultants, too, agree with us. An entire sea bridge would be extremely cost intensive. The Bandra-Versova stretch will be partly a coastal road and we will then have a sea bridge to avoid hacking of mangroves. But, the decision also depends on the final feasibility report.”
He added that the Centre’s draft on the new coastal notification had given a fillip to the Bandra-Versova link, as it made an exception for Mumbai and allowed construction of coastal roads and missing links in the CRZ- I area.
This is not permissible under the existing notification and would have made environment clearance for the coastal stretch of the link difficult.
However, the plan will be finalised only after the detailed feasibility study of the sea link project. MSRDC has appointed a German consultancy firm, M/s Parsons Brinckerhoff Consulting, for the feasibility study and geo technical study. This will be submitted by January next year, after which tenders will be floated by June 2011.
The eight-lane coastal link, starting with four lanes initially, is estimated to cost Rs 3,000 crore.
However, the state may have to contend with opposition from some Bandra residents’ organisations that are against this plan, as it would mean destruction of existing promenades at Bandstand and Carter Road.
The existing sea link end at Bandra would have to be integrated into the Bandra-Versova stretch by a bridge.