As the new swanky airport terminal of the city begins operations on February 11, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan will, on the same day, inaugurate the Sahar elevated road, a new flyover that the city’s development authority has built to bring passengers in and out of the new terminal.
U P S Madan, Metropolitan Commissioner at the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), said, “The new airport terminal will start operations on Tuesday afternoon. So, to avoid any chaos or crowding, we have kept the inauguration of the Sahar elevated road at 9 am.”
This will be the second transport-infrastructure project to be inaugurated this month. Last week, Chavan had inaugurated the country’s first monorail corridor from Chembur to Wadala.
The Sahar elevated road will take commuters directly from the Western Express Highway to the new terminal, T2, and vice versa, in about three to five minutes, reducing travel time by a large extent.
Earlier, passengers had to cross Sambhaji Nagar, Rajaram Wadi, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Road, Bamanwada, Sahar Port, Telegraph Colony and wade through the slow-moving traffic on Sahar road to reach the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. By this route, however, a distance of 4-5 km will require anywhere between 20 to 40 minutes, depending on traffic.
The 2.2-km Sahar elevated road will also decongest the existing route, which is often used by those wanting to travel towards SEEPZ and Andheri-Kurla Road, among others, as the airport-bound traffic will be entirely serviced by the elevated road.
For traffic coming from Bandra, the MMRDA has constructed an underpass at Hanuman Road junction on the Western Express Highway at Vile Parle (East) to connect to the Sahar elevated road. There is a ramp down for traffic exiting T2 and going southwards. The development authority has also built a third connector on the Western Express Highway near the Andheri flyover for traffic coming from Borivali to the airport.
The road has been built at a cost of Rs 400.77 crore, and it required resettling over 750 families.