The dream of covering a 140-km distance from Virar to Alibaug on highway in less then 75 minutes is inching closer.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has appointed Louis Berger Group Inc. to do the techno-Economic and Financial Feasibility study for the development of Virar-Alibaug multi-modal corridor.
A multi-modal corridor is a high-speed transport corridor, which integrates roads, metro line, bus and pedestrian infrastructure close to each other.
Once completed, it would mean that people heading to Alibaug could sit in an air-conditioned Metro car from Virar and cover 140 km in 75 minutes.
Now, there is no direct road to Alibaug from Mumbai. One can either take a ferry from Gateway of India to Mandva and then take the road to Alibaug or drive all the way via Panvel and Pen.
The corridor has been divided in two phases — 90 km Phase-I from Virar to Panvel and the 50 km Phase-II from Panvel to Alibaug.
Louis Berger was selected in a tendering process and will have to complete the study which will cost Rs 6 crore in a year.
“Projects like this are necessary to rid the city of Mumbai and its Metropolitan Region of traffic woes,” Metropolitan Commissioner Ratnakar Gaikwad said.
The road will pass through Thane, New Mumbai, Kalyan, Dombivli, Mira Road, Bhayandar, Bhiwandi, Ulhasnagar, Ambernath, Kulgaon, Nalasopara, Vasai, Virar, Navaghar, Alibaug, Karjat, Khopoli, Matheran, Panvel, Pen and Uran.
This freeway will begin from Virar on the National Highway 18 and will end at Alibaug on the National Highway 17 via Bhiwandi, Kalyan, Dombivli and Panvel.
NHAI has assured that it will expand 90 km of the stretch.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority will construct 60 km of road network afresh and will need land to increase the width of the existing stretch of road.
The cost of the project is pegged at Rs 10,000 crore and the development authority is seeking private investment to help run this corridor.