Snarls on Mumbai's Western Express Highway to ease by May
Mumbaikars who dread inching and honking their way through the Kherwadi junction on the Western Express Highway (WEH) may breathe easy by May. The ongoing work on the Kherwadi flyover, which has contributed a great deal to the snarls here, is likely to be over by May.
Coming up: The Kherwadi flyover in Bandra (East) on the Western Express Highway. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
The authorities are confident that by that time, they would be able to open three southbound lanes of the flyover for traffic. The work at the site is going round the clock and soon the launching of girders would also begin.
Metropolitan commissioner UPS Madan said, “I am very happy with the pace of work on the Kherwadi flyover. Going by the same pace, by May-end we will open the three lanes of the southbound carriageway. The same lanes can be used for northbound traffic during evening peak hours.”
The southbound traffic between Bandra and Santacruz on WEH knots up in snarls during peak hours. In the morning, it takes more than 45 minutes to cover a kilometre and cross the Kherwadi junction.
mid-day had reported how emergency services, such as the ambulance, going towards south Mumbai via WEH have to face problems because of the ongoing construction.
The traffic jams worsened after the flyover’s construction began late last year. The traffic department has tried many solutions, including the use of service roads, but not much has changed. So the development authority, which wants to complete the work quickly, intends to ask the traffic department to carry out the work even during monsoon.
‘Up’ side down
Motorists going northwards to Borivli and beyond will have to face peak-hour traffic when the construction of the three northbound lanes starts.
MMRDA chief engineer Sharad Sabnis said, “Once the three south-going lanes are opened, we will start construction of the three lanes going north. If the traffic department gives us permission to carry on the work during monsoon, the construction will begin in May itself and continue. Otherwise, we will begin it after the rains.”
The development authority is confident that even after construction of the northbound roads begins, there won’t be much traffic on the stretch in the evening, since the three lanes going the other way could be used for northbound traffic during evenings.
>> The construction of the Kherwadi flyover was awarded to M/s J Kumar for a tendered cost of R21,96,00,000
>> It is expected to be complete within a period of 18 months
>> The flyover is 580 metres long and 25 metres wide