MMRDA plans to make service roads two-way to unclog WEH
Mumbai: In an effort to unclog the western express highway (WEH), which witnesses major traffic snarls through the day, and increase its carrying capacity, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) is planning to make the service roads on either side of the arterial road two-way.
The work will be carried out along with major design interventions like merging the slip roads at appropriate entry or exit points, lane segregation, putting up improved signage and markings on the road.
An MMRDA spokesperson said, “Two-way service roads on WEH will restrict major traffic from spilling on to the main carriageway, thereby, reducing congestion and increasing the speed of vehicles.”
MMRDA had recently appointed Louis Berger Consultants to study the shortcomings along the expressway and suggest measures to improve the 25-km arterial road connecting Bandra to Borivili.”The consultant has submitted the report and we are in the process of preparing detailed engineering sheets on it. We expect the work to start soon. We will follow all the safety and design parameters and the signage will also be scientifically designed,” the spokesperson said.
Currently, the authority has undertaken repairs along the main carriageway and the service roads between Mahim junction and Dahisar check naka. The damaged portions along the main carriageway and the paver block junctions are being improved, said officials.
The repair works are being undertaken at a cost of ₹58 crore, while the overall improvement works on WEH is estimated to cost ₹100 crore.
Officials estimate that around 5 lakh vehicles take the arterial road during peak hours, against 2-2.5 lakh vehicles that take the eastern express highway (EEH).
Experts said the move will definitely help reduce congestion, provided MMRDA plans it well. Yogesh Ambe, a road-safety expert, said, “People who want to travel a short distance can take the service road but the service roads need a well-planned outlet so that people don’t use it to jump signals. Also, by opening up the service roads, MMRDA has to be cautious of increased encroachments.”