By the end of this month, you will be able to zip to Chembur from south Mumbai in about 15 minutes.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) will open a portion of the Eastern Freeway from Orange Gate to Panjarpol. The remaining part up to Ghatkopar-Mankhurd Link Road (GMLR) will be opened early next year.
This means not only signal-free and faster travel, but also less traffic on Ambedkar Road and PD’Mello Road.
Motorists on their way to Chembur from Fort can access the freeway through a ramp near Orange Gate (Wadi Bunder) on the P D’Mello Road, while vehicles from the dock area can use another ramp near the Reay Road railway station.
There are two descending ramps at Wadi Bunder at about a distance of 200 metres. One ramp will take motorists heading to south Mumbai from Chembur directly to PD’Mello Road, while the other one will allow traffic to go directly to Wadi Bunder.
The 9.3-km elevated stretch from Orange Gate up to Anik Junction is a four-lane bitumen (tar) road, which has several sharp turns.
The freeway becomes an eight-lane concrete road at the junction and runs at ground level for about 4.3km till Panjarpol.
Motorists are permitted to drive at maximum speed of 60kmph on the Orange Gate-Anik junction stretch, and at 80 kmph on the Anik Junction- Panjarpol stretch.
The MMRDA has constructed two approach roads at the junction. Motorists heading from there can take the freeway to Panjarpol using one approach road, while those coming from Panjarpol can leave the freeway at the junction using the other road.
Just before the twin tunnels at Panjarpol, the MMRDA is constructing a foot overbridge (FoB) and walls so residents of the area can cross the freeway safely. Only one tunnel will be open to traffic as the other one will be ready by the end of the year.
The freeway ends at the Panjarpol circle as construction of a 2.8km stretch to GMLP is underway.
Also, steel view-cutters are being installed on the 2.3km stretch from Sewri to Mahul creek on the east, and 700m stretch on the west to protect the oil companies and other sensitive installations along the freeway.
The MMRDA has also started installing steel crash barriers in the median across the freeway.