Eastern Freeway to become India’s longest in April

March 12, 2014

  Manthan K Mehta,TNN |


MUMBAI: The entire stretch of Eastern Freeway from Orange Gate in south Mumbai till Ghatkopar will be thrown open to public in the third week of April, making it the longest such dedicated corridor in the country. The 16.59-km route can be covered in 25 minutes, cutting down on travel time by almost 50 minutes.Usually, it takes one-and-a-half to two hours to cover the stretch by road, depending on traffic.

“The last 3 km portion of the Freeway from Chembur to Ghatkopar-Mankhurd Link Road is on the verge of completion. Once that stretch is inaugurated, it will especially benefit motorists from Ghatkopar and those travelling to Thane and beyond,” said a senior official of MMRDA, the implementing agency of the project. The first stretch of the Freeway—9.29km of elevated corridor from Orange Gate to Anik and 4.3km ground-level stretch till Shivaji Chowk in Chembur—was opened in June 2013. The official further said, “We have undertaken several measures such as improving the condition at the Panjrapole junction in Chembur so that the waiting time at the signal can be reduced. We plan to shorten the radius of the rotary island at the signal to provide more road space.” The entire project cost Rs 1,463 crore.

Besides the 3-km stretch, the second tunnel, meant for vehicles bound for south Mumbai, will also be opened. “The work on the second tunnel is complete. But the road surface there is being improved and so, the entire width is not available to traffic for the time being,” the official added. Work on a pair of ramps near Bhakti Park, which will help motorists take the freeway to Chembur, is also at an advanced stage of completion. Two other pairs of ramps—one at the Govandi ROB junction and the other at Ghatkopar-Mankhurd Link Road—will also be inaugurated at the same time. A fourth one, which will help vehicles to and from Wadala, Dadar, Mahim and Matunga access the Freeway will be ready in May.

Diversion of vehicles to the Freeway has already eased snarl on Dr Ambedkar Marg, Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Marg, MbPT road and the Eastern Express Highway. The opening of the last phase will help further reduce congestion on Dr Ambedkar road. Around 50% fuel consumption and that in the levels of harmful emissions and noise are also likely to go down.

Explaining the delay of the last stretch, officials said that MMRDA had to rehabilitate 495 families. Rehabilitating them, land acquisition and hurdles faced by the presence of transformers and pumping stations in the way pushed back the deadline, an official said.


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