While we await the formal inauguration of the much-awaited Eastern Freeway, let us recap the salient features and its importance as listed by MMRDA:
The ever expanding and populating Eastern parts of Mumbai and Thane have been crucial linkages of growth of the State. The economic activities in these areas needed long term and sustainable infrastructure to meet the present and future demands. The Eastern parts were a key to exponential development owing to its proximity to other major industrial hubs like districts of Thane, Pune, Nashik and Raigad. The planners at MMRDA had envisaged this trend and future demand at very early stage and hence, building the Easter Freeway was not only a need but also a key to unlock immense potentials of prospective growth areas. Not limiting the road connectivity to the city limits, it penetrated right up to the heart of city and connected efficiently up to the extreme ends of the city.
|The exit point at Chembur, near RK Studios. Pic: B N Kumar|
The Eastern Freeway project was undertaken by MMRDA under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). The Eastern Freeway is planned such that it provides 22.0 km high speed corridor from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Museum to Eastern Express Highway (EEH). The Freeway also provides direct connectivity to new CST Railway Terminus and facilities to and fro movement of goods traffic in Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) area.
As planned the EF starts from Museum, passes along Shahid Bhagatsingh Marg, Wadi Bundar on P.D ’Mello Road and further enters into MbPT area and finally joins EEH via Anik Panjrapole Link Road (APLR). Total length of proposed (Phase-I) project is 12 km from Museum to Anik which includes, ground improvement of existing road, 4-lane Elevated corridor of about 9 km and construction of missing link.
As per revised
Talking into consideration the quantum of structures to be dismantled on P. D ’Mello road, recent improvement of the road by MCGM and integration of Eastern Freeway with APLR on WTT road, the length of Eastern Freeway (Phase 1) is modified to 9.29. Km under.
Section I -From S.V Patel road junction on P.D ’Mello road to Orange gate comprising of up and down ramps (0.41Km)
Section II - Orange gate to Mbpt pipeline gate- elevated corridor (7.02)
Section III - Mbpt pipe line gate to WTT road comprising of construction of elevator corridor through Salt pan (Missing Link) and Customs area (0.78 Km)
Section IV - WTT road near customs area to start of APLR- Elevated corridor (1.08 Km)
The project cost is estimated at Rs 531 crore and is approved under JNNURM with 35% financial assistance from Government of India, State Government and MMRDA share 15% and 50% respectively. M/s. Simplex Infrastructures Ltd. is roped in for the project. The project commenced in January, 2008.
The project also consists of constructing Mumbai ’s first and the only twin tunnel at the footsteps of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) mountain. The twin tunnels are approximately half a kilometre in length each; with 17 metres in width and 10 metres in height, it will have four carriageways in each tunnel.
The project, under Mumbai Urban Infrastructure Project (MUIP), is instrumental in reducing congestion in the beneficial areas which have emerged as prominent suburbs with substantial population and road traffic growth. The project provides easy and effective connectivity between suburbs and city and moreover, industrial establishments around the city and other cities. The project has also improved much needed connectivity among Western suburbs, Eastern suburbs and Harbor suburbs of MMR.