Tired of getting stuck in traffic near PD’Mello Road? Your ride may soon get better, as the authorities plan to extend the eastern freeway on both the sides and link it to the eastern express highway (EEH) towards the north and Mint Road in the south.
According to the original plan made in 1962, the freeway was to start at the eastern express highway and end near the Prince of Wales Museum.
But the problems arising out of the non-availability of land, mangroves and slums in Ramabai Ambedkar Nagar forced the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) to start the 16.4-km freeway at the Ghatkopar-Mankhurd Link Road (GMLR)and end it at Orange Gate.
However, the housing department’s plan to redevelop slums in Ambedkar Nagar may free up land, allowing the construction of the 2-km missing link of the freeway between the EEH and GMLR.
The MMRDA may still have to get green clearance, as the road will pass through the mangroves.
The freeway has reduced congestion on the Dr Ambedkar Road significantly, as commuters from south Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Pune and Thane prefer the freeway.
The extension will ease the traffic movement at the mouth of the freeway on PD’Mello and at Chheda Nagar.
The MMRDA and the Central Railway are also mulling a multimodal corridor from Orange Gate to Mint road, to facilitate the extension of the freeway towards the south and the construction of two rail lines.
MMRDA commissioner UPS Madan said, “The housing department has indicated that it will implement the redevelopment scheme that can provide enough land to construct the missing link near Ghatkopar.”
“We had a joint meeting with the railway officials, where we decided to construct a common viaduct for the extension of the freeway and fifth and sixth rail lines,” said Madan.