Considering the possibility of ugly traffic snarls and accidents, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) and other government authorities are contemplating banning two- and three-wheelers on the Eastern Freeway that would connect South Mumbai with the eastern suburbs. The freeway that would join Orange Gate in South Mumbai with Ghatkopar is expected to tackle traffic woes for motorists travelling between the two points.
Talks are also on whether multi-axle vehicles and trailers should be allowed on the freeway or not. Sources in the MMRDA claimed that officials of the traffic police department were most likely to take the final decision. MMRDA Additional Commissioner Ashwini Bhide said, “It is too early to say whether trailers on freeway will lead to traffic jams, but the decision to allow two and three-wheelers will be taken by traffic police department.”
The lifting and launching of the 80-tonne segment of the elevated structure was successfully carried out on Saturday. It took 16 lakh cement bags, 32,000 metric tonnes of steel, 3,346 girders and 2,600-km long high tension steel cables for completing this 16.4-km-long freeway, which apparently would be free for intersections. Bhide said, “The numbers will put perspective to the volume of construction required to create the first part of the Eastern Freeway.”
The project will commence form Orange Gate to Anik-Panjarpol Link Road and further up to Ghatkopar. It is divided in three parts: firstly, a corridor will start from the Orange Gate to Anik-Panjarpol Link Road (9.29 km); secondly, from Panjarpol to Ghatkopar Link Road (4.3 km), and finally, from the Link Road to Ghatkopar (2.81 km).
The Eastern Freeway is being touted to be the longest elevated road in an urban setting in the country. An MMRDA official said, “It will have a profound impact on the way the city commutes. It would decongest Chembur, Sion and Dadar significantly.”In addition, this signal-free corridor is expected to improve connectivity for motorists towards Thane-Nashik and Panvel-Pune-Goa, and help them save time and fuel. The first two parts of the freeway are expected to be operational in May. The freeway would decongest traffic on Dr Ambedkar Road as well. Incidentally, it can resist earthquakes measuring up to 7.5 on the Richter scale.