Come 2015 and commuters travelling on congested roads of Mumbai’s western suburbs will be able to cruise along a 10-km long, six-lane coastal freeway.
The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) has begun scouting for consultants to help it build a Rs 2,300-crore stretch connecting Bandra to Versova. This could be a coastal road, a sea link or both.
The MSRDC expects the freeway to be ready by 2015.
The state government’s Cabinet committee on infrastructure in August had cleared the freeway, which would ease north-bound traffic in the city.
“The consultant will help us in undertaking feasibility study and getting environmental clearances for the project,” MSRDC’s Chief Engineer, Sharad Sabnis, said.
Mumbai’s road space in the last 58 years has increased by a measly 250 per cent to 1,930 kms. Vehicle population, in comparison, has increased by 3,700 per cent to 14 lakhs. This uneven growth is the main reason for traffic jams.
A study the MSRDC had conducted earlier found that 50 per cent of the traffic going towards south Mumbai originated from suburbs beyond Bandra like Andheri and Goregaon.
MSRDC feels that with the construction of the Versova-Bandra Sea Link, vehicles from the northern suburbs need not use the S.V. Road or the western express highway, thereby reducing congestion on these arterial roads.
Experts have for long recommended that the city’s coastline be used to build new roads.
The MSRDC had earlier commissioned a study to find probable routes for the project. The consultant, CES Private Limited, had made three recommendations--a complete 10.15-km sea link, a 10.4-km part road, part sea link, and a 10.63-km coastal road from Bandra to Versova.
MSRDC officials prefer constructing a six-lane coastal road, which will start from the Bandra end of the Bandra Worli Sea Link. The road will be then partially go underground at Juhu beach and emerge at Versova.
The consultant chosen for the project will have to submit a report in nine months and the construction time has been estimated at four years.
The Bandra Worli Sea Link, conceived in the 1990s, took 10 years to be completed.