The Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link (MTHL) is quickly approaching completion, with an expected opening date in November.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), nodal agency for implementing the project, has indicated that the main deck of the bridge will be ready by May and that the connecting ramps and loops will be complete by June.
The 22 km bridge will connect the island city to the mainland from Sewri to Nhava Sheva, enhancing connectivity between these important areas.
This bridge will serve as a connection between the island city and Navi Mumbai, the location of a new airport.
According to Times Of India,The MTHL bridge is expected to reduce travel time from Colaba to the new airport to 45 minutes.
The MTHL'S construction is 93 per cent complete as of March.
In the next two to three years, the planned Worli-Sewri Link and other extended connectors in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai will reduce road travel time between Mumbai and Pune, as well as to destinations such as Goa and Nagpur, by two hours.
India’s Longest Sea Bridge
Popularly known as the Sewri Nhava Sheva Harbour Link, the MTHL is a 22-km-long six-lane bridge, 16.5 km of which would be over the sea and about 5.5 km viaduct, on land on either side.
Connecting Sewri in Mumbai to Chirle in Navi Mumbai, the sea link reduces the travel time between South Mumbai and Navi Mumbai to just 20 minutes from the present two hours.
The Mumbai Trans Harbour Link aims to enhance connectivity in Mumbai by linking it with Navi Mumbai, reducing traffic problems, and promoting economic growth in the city.
Additionally, the project will promote greater economic integration of Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, and their extended regions such as Pune, Goa, Panvel, and Alibaug.
The upcoming sea bridge will feature the Open Road Tolling (ORT) system, enabling a convenient travel time of 15-20 minutes from Sewri to Chirle.
The open tolling system, used in Singapore, will be implemented for vehicles crossing the bridge in Maharashtra, saving them from having to stop for toll payment, according to the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority officials, as announced earlier this year by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.
Slated to be the longest sea bridge in India, the MTHL will serve 70,000 vehicles daily upon completion.
The MTHL bridge has been split into four packages — while package-1 and 2 are sea based, package-3 is on land.
Package-1 spans from Sewri (0.00 km) to 10.380 km and package-2 is from Sewri (10.380 km) to 18.189 km. Package-3 covers the stretch of the bridge from Sewri (18.187 km) and continues for 3.60 km, concluding on land at 21.80 km.
Lastly, package-4 entails work related to installation of an intelligent transport system (ITS), toll management system, electrical works, highway illumination system, and construction of toll plazas and administrative buildings including the command control centre.
In January, MMRDA unveiled the longest orthotropic steel deck (OSD) in package-2 of MTHL, marking a success in the project's launch.
The first OSD in package-2, part of the 22 km Trans-Harbour link joining Mumbai and Navi Mumbai, weighs 2,300 MT and is 180-m-long.
Recently, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) extended an official development assistance (ODA) loan of 30,755 million Japanese Yen (approximately Rs 1,927 crore) for the MTHL project in Maharashtra.
This loan agreement is the third tranche of JICA financing for MTHL, and the loan agreement for the first and second tranches were signed on 31 March 2017 and on 27 March 2020, respectively.
Overall, the MTHL bridge is a substantial engineering feat, with challenges involving the construction of the longest sea bridge in India.
The environmental impact of the construction process and the bridge's long-term effects on marine ecosystems were also closely monitored.
Nevertheless, the bridge's impact on the economy and transportation in Mumbai and beyond may be a significant benefit to the region once completed.
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