Motorists driving to south Mumbai from the eastern suburbs and Navi Mumbai can hope to face less traffic congestion in a couple of months at the notorious Suman Nagar junction.
Work to widen the road at the spot is scheduled to commence on April 1, and is expected to be over in May.
The traffic congestion has already eased with the construction of a flyover bridge that takes motorists directly towards Chembur. However, since the road below a railway overbridge is narrow, the traffic bottleneck near Priyadarshini Circle persists.
Work to create a new traffic lane for south-bound traffic below the overbridge will begin on April 1, allowing for the completion of the project which has been going on since 2005.
The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) will start the crucial work of demolishing a railway embankment and laying of the railway tracks on April 1, which will add a new lane for vehicular traffic.
"We will start the final step for completion of the new lane on April 1 as the Railways have given us the requisite permission. We are hopeful that commuters will be able to use the new lane by May,” a senior MSRDC official said.
Suman Nagar Junction has been a chronic trouble spot for city planners as vehicles from Thane and Navi Mumbai converge there on their way to south Mumbai. Authorites had managed solve the problem of north-bound traffic to an extent by opening the flyover bridge in December. However the south-bound lanes were still a problem as the four-lane road which brings traffic from New Mumbai tapers to a two-lane road on the Eastern Express Highway due to the presence of the overbridge.
Since 2005, the MSRDC had been planning to add a new lane on this stretch but could not do so due to technical and geological problems.
The road could be expanded only by demolishing the embankments of the overbridge.
Central Railway had earlier denied permission to stop traffic on the stretch, due to which the project was in a limbo. MSRDC has also tried to use the box-pushing technique to widen the road, but the plan failed and the project got stuck.
CR has now given its assent for railway blocks (stoppage of rail traffic for a predetermined duration). The biggest block is likely to be on April 1, when MSRDC will undertake the final work to raise the railway line to accommodate the new road.