If you are one of those who travel via southbound stretch of the Western Express Highway (WEH) between Santacruz and Kalanagar, then it is time to brace up for longer commuting hours due to bumper-to-bumper traffic as the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) would be starting the work of the new flyover at Kherwadi from today.
The MMRDA has plans to construct the 580-metre-long flyover at an estimated cost of Rs 21 crore. The flyover will start at the Government Polytechnic College and will end 100 meters before the Kalanagar flyover. The traffic going towards Kalanagar and Sion would now be diverted via the southbound service road, thus inconveniencing the motorists further. A 2-km-long jam was observed between Kherwadi junction and domestic airport flyover yesterday.
The MMRDA officials said in order to facilitate motorists using the southbound carriageway of the WEH, the service road was repaired to divert traffic coming towards Kherwadi from Santacruz. “The southbound service road, parallel to the WEH, was pothole-ridden. But as we had plans to start the work on flyover at Kherwadi, we repaired the service road so that it cam be used to divert traffic,” an MMRDA official said.
Approval at last earlier, the MMRDA was denied permission by the traffic department to start work of the flyover as the development body had failed to provide a solution to the traffic jam that the construction work would cause. It was only yesterday that the traffic department finally issued an NOC to the MMRDA to start the work.
Commenting on the issue, Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Vivek Phansalkar said, “At least 920-metre-long stretch will be affected, and remain partly closed for 11 months. In order to compensate, we will raze the divider between the carriageway and the service road. We are also looking at the option of allowing vehicles, going towards south, to take the northbound road in case there is excess traffic.”
While the MMRDA claimed the service road would help resolve traffic issues, the motorists who use this road on a daily basis are upset.
I have returned to the city after months for Diwali. It is irritating to get stuck in such a horrible traffic jam. I was stuck for an hour. If the work continues for months, then it is gong to spell doom for the motorists using this stretch. Amit Kapate, Juhu
I left home at 10.30 am for an interview, but it got rescheduled for the next month as I reached late due to the traffic jam. If the work continues for the next 11 months, I doubt whether I’ll ever be able to reach for any interview. Viraj Dharia, Andheri
Construction of the flyover on the WEH will lead to chaos, as it is going to inconvenience motorists greatly. Authorities need to make as many diversions as they can to decongest the traffic. Prasad Sandaw, Andheri
To avoid traffic jam during peak hours, government needs to come up with solutions like working only at night. These 11 months will include the next monsoon season as well, which will only add to the chaos. Chaitanya Dixit, Goregaon
Rs 21 cr
Estimated cost of the Kherwadi flyover
Total length of the flyover
The duration for which the highway will remain partially closed