THE proposed Rs 5,975-crore Bandra-Versova sea link will give the city another cable-stayed bridge, a structure that has over the years found place among landmarks such as the Gateway of India and Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus that are often used to depict the city pictorially.
This will be the third such bridge in Mumbai after the one on the Bandra-Worli Sea Link and a much smaller version on the city’s first Metro corridor.
SM Ramchandani, joint managing director, Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), said, “Just like the requirement in the Bandra-Worli Sea Link, we need a longer span than usual at certain places for the Bandra-Versova sea link for navigational needs of the fishing community. For this one stretch we studied all possible alternatives and came to the conclusion that a cable-stayed bridge would be best suited. However, this would be smaller than the main cable-stayed bridge of the Bandra-Worli sea link.”
Although expensive, a cable-stayed bridge, which is built with one or more columns called pylons with cables supporting its deck, is useful for stretches where the span, or the distance between two piers, is longer than usual.
The Bandra-Worli Sea Link, which was opened in 2009, gave Mumbai its first cable-stayed bridge — a 500-metre-long structure. The cable-stayed bridge planned for the Bandra-Versova sea link will be on a 300-metre stretch, with a central span of 150 metres and side spans of 75 metres each. The one built on the 11.4-km Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro corridor over the Jog flyover in Andheri is 175 metres long with a main span of 83 metres and side spans of 46 metres each.
“The rest of the bridge will have spans of 50 metres each, just like the Bandra-Worli Sea Link, to make it look continuous,” Ramchandani said.
Apart from a cable-stayed bridge, the Bandra-Versova sea link will also have two 250-metre-long balanced cantilever bridges for other stretches where longer spans are needed for navigational needs. A balanced cantilever bridge, which is more cost-effective, has two well-anchored arms and one span between the arms. The Vashi bridge built over the Thane creek to connect Vashi and Mankhurd uses the balanced cantilever method of construction.
The Bandra-Versova sea link would be 9.3-km long — 14.8-km including the entry and exit ramps at various places. The sea link, which is proposed to have five toll stations, will have approaches at Carter Road and Juhu besides the terminal points of Bandra and Versova.
As per MSRDC estimates, by 2020, the sea link, which will help skip 14 traffic signals, is likely to be used by 45,465 vehicles including cars, light commercial vehicles, buses and trucks. This number is expected to grow to 1,26,666 vehicles by 2045. The MSRDC is planning to implement the project on public-private partnership model and has invited requests for qualifications in this regard.