Five years behind schedule, the 6.5-km-long Santacruz-Chembur Link Road will finally be completed by June.
The link road, which will not only connect the eastern and western suburbs but also ease travel to Navi Mumbai, is expected to cut travel time between Santacruz and Chembur from around two hours to 17 minutes.
“We are working towards ensuring that the road is operational by June 2011,” said Dilip Kawathkar, joint project director of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority.
After eight years of construction, five extensions and continuous prodding by the World Bank, the link road will be ready at almost twice the initial cost — Rs 242 crore.
When mooted in 2003 under the Mumbai Urban Transport Project, the link road was to be originally to be built at a cost of Rs 127 crore with a deadline of 2005. But it faced setbacks with issues over rehabilitating the project-affected people and subsequent suspension of funding by the World Bank.
Presently, motorists from the western suburbs travelling to Navi Mumbai have to take either the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road, Andheri-Kurla Road or a detour from Sion to reach Chembur. The drive during peak hours can last around 70 minutes to two hours.
But after June, motorists can use this six-lane, part-elevated link road and reach Chembur within 17 minutes.
The road will also sport the city’s first double-deck bridge to help disperse traffic smoothly at Kurla and then at Chembur. The link road is expected to ease traffic at the busy Sion junction-Priyadarshni Circle belt and the T-junction near Bandra-Kurla Complex because vehicles coming from western suburbs will use this connecting road to go towards Navi Mumbai or the Mumbai-Pune Expressway.