Even as commuters rejoice the opening of the north-bound stretch of the Kherwadi flyover on the WEH on Sunday, the news comes with a rider.
The new arm that promises uninterrupted journey between Bandra and Dahisar is likely to create huge bottlenecks at the Aarey flyover in Goregaon and Kandivli flyover, owing to what the authorities called “engineering fault-lines”.
The drastic funneling down of lanes create bottlenecks at both the start and end of the flyovers, resulting in backlogs. Traffic officers blame the inconsistency in the structural designs of the flyovers for the problem.
“The constant flow of traffic on the 23.55-km stretch towards the northern part of the city will create a blockage at the mouth of Aarey flyover, which already faces severe congestion issues. We are expecting at least four days of heavy traffic congestion on these flyovers after the inauguration of the new north-bound arm,” said a traffic inspector.
However, the traffic police have devised a plan to avoid chaos on the routes. The department plan to throw open the service roads for vehicular traffic. Senior officers believe this will not only unclog the congestion at the flyovers’ entrances, but will also put to use the under-utilised roads that are most often blocked with parked vehicles.
“We have written to the public works department (PWD), the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) commissioner and the Mumbai police commissioner,” said Pratap Dighavkar, deputy commissioner of police, (traffic) western suburbs.
Moreover, additional police personnel will be deployed on the stretch to guide the motorists.
The personnel will use public announcement systems, urging motorists to use the service roads, said Dighavkar.
Another factor that adds to the disarray on the roads is the heavy vehicles, said officers. Despite the rule that bans them on flyovers during peak hours, heavy vehicles continue to ply here. The police plan to take stringent action against offenders.
The north-bound stretch of the Kherwadi flyover will be opened to public on Sunday, making commute on the Western Express Highway (WEH) free of traffic signals.