Travelling to and from south Mumbai using the Eastern Express Highway may no longer imply traffic snarls and frequent congestion, particularly between Sion and Dadar.
A 15-km stretch of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development's (MMRDA) much-awaited Eastern Freeway project is expected to open by February-end, said MMRDA sourced. This stretch will connect PD'Mello road in Fort to Panjarpol in Chembur and will provide an alternative to the eastern expressway for motorists from the eastern suburbs beyond Chembur, and Navi Mumbai.
Consequently, it will help reduce traffic jams at areas such as Priyadarshini Circle, the Sion-Dadar stretch and from Byculla to Masjid Bunder. The four lane corridor is expected to accommodate 25,000 -30,000 vehicles.
By May-end, this road will further connect to Ghatkopar on the Eastern Expressway, which will further ease traffic on the expressway. Motorists on the expressway from suburbs beyond Ghatkopar can hence take the freeway at this juncture.
The Rs847 crore Eastern Freeway will help commuters zip from south Mumbai to Ghatkopar on an elevated road in less than 20 minutes. This will ease the pressure off the Eastern Express Highway and Ambedkar Road while travelling from eastern suburbs to south Mumbai.
"We are in final stage of finishing and concretising the road. The 15-km till Panjarpol chowk will be open to the public by February end. The remaining 2km, connecting the Chembur-Mankhurd link road and the Eastern Expressway at Ghatkopar, will be completed by May end," said Sharad Sabanis, chief engineer, MMRDA.
The road will also connect to the Wadala saltpans, which leads to Sion and nearby areas.
Once the freeway opens, it will provide a huge relief to four-wheeler owners, it would be of little help to bus commuters travelling within city limits since it has limited exits.
"The opening of the freeway will be useful only for long distance commuters, such as those travelling between Navi Mumbai, Ghatkopar, Chembur and CST," said Jagdeep Desai, transport activist.