The wait for smooth, signal-free drives on the Western Express highway (WEH) is finally over. The north-bound arm of the Kherwadi flyover was thrown open to vehicular traffic on Sunday, bringing cheer to motorists who would take up to 45 minutes to cross the Kherwadi junction during evening peak hours.
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis inaugurated the north-bound arm of the flyover on Sunday, and also laid the foundation stone for the 1.6-km BKC-Chunabhatti elevated road, which will start from G-block of Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), cross the Mithi River and two railway lines, before descending on the Eastern Express Highway near the Somaiya football ground.
Admitting that improper planning and delays had led to poor east-west connectivity in the city, Fadnavis said, “Owing to delays in construction work, many infrastructure projects have been delayed, especially those connecting eastern and western parts of the city. We need to build more east-west connecting links to address the problem of traffic congestion,” said Fadnavis.
Private contractors with good track records should be given incentive, while those with poor results should be penalised, said Fadnavis.
The MMRDA constructed the Kherwadi flyover in two phases. After opening the south-bound stretch in June last year, MMRDA started construction of the north-bound stretch in November. MMRDA engineers succeeded in completing work for the stretch before its deadline, which was the end of April.
Abhijeet Bhisekar, deputy engineer with MMRDA, said, “We did not let the construction work halt even for a day, in order to meet the deadline. We could construct the flyover on the most congested road because of proper synchronisation of various works.”
According to the MMRDA, the BKC-Chunabhatti elevated road will help commuters from the eastern suburbs, Thane and Navi Mumbai skip the congested Sion-Dharavi Link road, to reach BKC. In addition, the travel time from Sion to BKC will be cut down to just two minutes from the present 20-45 minutes, the official said. The elevated road is expected to be ready in three years.