Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL), the longest sea bridge in India, is nearing completion, with the land portion of the bridge being erected at Navi Mumbai by MMRDA.
The MTHL will cover 22 km, including 16.5 km over the sea and 5.5 km on land.
Connecting Mumbai to Navi Mumbai, MTHL reduces the travel time between South Mumbai and Navi Mumbai to just 20 minutes from the present two hours.
A cost estimate of Rs 17,800 crore has been given for the project.
Highlighting the development, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) tweeted, "one more significant milestone. MMRDA has completed the erection of the last land span between pier no. MP 245 and MP 246 [RHS] on the Navi Mumbai side. In Pkg-2 total, 49 Spans have been erected within a 2.7 Km land zone."
The ambitious sea link should be ready for use by the general public by December 2023, according to an MMRDA official. According to him, the project has about 84 per cent of its work finished. More than half of the work in the sea has been completed.
The bridge would include six lanes with interchanges in Sewri, Shivaji Nagar, and Chirle, Navi Mumbai, along NH-4B.
The sea bridge is equipped with innovative technology which will allow authorities to monitor traffic on the overpass from the city's central traffic control centre using an array of CCTV cameras.
The link will also provide direct access to Nhava Sheva Port, Mumbai-Goa Highway, Mumbai-Pune Expressway and the Navi Mumbai International Airport.
It is envisaged that it will boost the economic growth of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, and significantly increase the connectivity between Mumbai and Navi Mumbai.
Work on the project, a 22-km-long sea-link connecting Mumbai with its satellite city Navi Mumbai, got off to a start in April 2018 with the contractor conducting soil testing in the Nhava Sheva creek.
"We have completed 84 per cent of the project, up from 54 per cent in June 2021," Metropolitan Commissioner S V R Srinivas said.
The project's cost jumped from Rs 4,500 crore in 2005 to Rs 9,360 crore in 2013 and Rs 11,000 crore in 2014. Now, it is pegged at Rs 17,800 crore.
The Japanese International Cooperation Agency is financing 85 per cent of the project. The loan has been offered with a 10-year grace and a 30-year repayment period.
The JICA agreement with MMRDA for the funding was signed in May 2016, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation for the project in December 2016.
Then Devendra Fadnavis government's war room revived the project in 2015. Two crucial state and central clearances were obtained between November 2015 and January 2016.
In February 2016, funding from JICA was secured subject to design changes and construction standards. The central government readily stood as a counter guarantee for the JICA loan.
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