On Monday (20 February), the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) erected the first of five composite steel girder spans in package-1 of the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) at Sewri.
The 40-metre span, bearing approximately 130 metric tonnes, connects MTHL package 1 with the Eastern Freeway on two levels.
The 16.8 km-Eastern Freeway connects PD Mello Road in south Mumbai to Eastern Express Highway (EEH) in Chembur.
The six-lane MTHL project is divided into three construction packages, the first of which includes a 10.38 km bridge section spanning Mumbai Bay and Sewri Interchange.
The 10.38 km length of package 1 is divided into three zones: the Marine zone which is about 5.755 km, the intertidal zone, which is about 4.130 km long, the land zone, (Sewri Interchange).
Connecting Mumbai to Navi Mumbai, the sea link will reduce the travel time between South Mumbai and Navi Mumbai to just 15 to 20 minutes from the present two hours.
There are eight ramps in the land zone that link the MTHL main bridge to the existing Eastern Freeway (four ramps), the proposed Sewri Worli elevated bridge (two ramps), and the MBPT road beneath the Eastern Freeway (two ramps).
“We have achieved another milestone by installing the 1st of the 5 composite steel girder spans that will connect MTHL package 1 with Eastern freeway. MMRDA is working to change the face of MMR by integrating its existing road-based transport network with other infra projects. MTHL is the engineering marvel that will decongest Mumbai city and connect it to the mainland,” said SVR Srinivas, Commissioner of MMRDA, reports Indian Express.
The MTHL will cover 22 km, including 16.5 km over the sea and 5.5 km on land.
The bridge would include six lanes with interchanges in Sewri, Shivaji Nagar, and Chirle, Navi Mumbai, along NH-4B.
A cost estimate of Rs 17,800 crore has been given for the project.
The link will provide direct access to Nhava Sheva Port, Mumbai-Goa Highway, Mumbai-Pune Expressway and the Navi Mumbai International Airport.
This longest sea bridge in the country will be the first to have an Open Road Tolling (ORT) system.
India's Longest Sea Bridge With Japanese Support
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.
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.
The MTHL will be open for traffic in November this year.
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