The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s decision to add three interchanges to the Goregaon-Mulund Link Road (GMLR) to ease congestion in the area has increased the cost of the project by Rs 500 crore.
Officials said one of the addition will be a flyover above LBS Road and direct the traffic towards Nahur Road over bridge that is currently is getting in the way of the metro bridge planned in the same area.
“The height of the metro bridge has to be increased to make way for the flyover so that the traffic from GMLR, after exiting the tunnel below the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP), does not create a snarl on the already crowded LBS Road. We had a meeting with the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) to discuss these issues,” said a civic
The meeting was held on July 22. Officials said the cost of the three interchanges, including a flyover from A N Vaidya Road to Film City, will take the total cost of the BMC project to around Rs 2,500 crore, an increase of Rs 500 crore.
The civic body had appointed a consultant to study the need for the interchanges. “The GMLR will include a three-by-three lane tunnel that will run below the SGNP and we are adding interchanges for better traffic management for which we are planning a flyover over LBS Road. We met the officials from MMRDA to discuss the same,” said Sanjay Mukherjee, the Additional Municipal Commissioner.
Some of the changes are posing problems to the ongoing Mumbai metro project for which the BMC now has to work in coordination with the MMRDA.
Apart from changes in the alignment of GMLR, the BMC and the MMRDA are also coordinating to provide an alternative route to the Navi Mumbai Airport, especially for residents of the western suburbs.
Civic officials said they will create a fan junction on the Eastern Express Highway to prevent traffic congestion.
“We are working together to find a way out by which, the GMLR can be connected to the bridge they are constructing from the Eastern Express Highway till Koparkhairne,” said a civic official who attended the meeting last week.
While U P S Madan, the MMRDA Commissioner, said they have agreed to increase the height of the metro bridge, they are yet to work out its details.
“The flyover that BMC is constructing is coming in conflict with the metro bridge. We will increase the height so that the flyover can go on the first level and the metro bridge can go on the second level at a height of about 20-30 metres,” said Madan.
“We have agreed to increase the height in principle and will take a final decision after the BMC submits its plan.”
He added that before the plan for the bridge connecting the Eastern Express Highway to Koparkhairne is finalised, the BMC and the MMRDA will carry out a study of two junctions.
“We have agreed to conduct two independent studies using two separate consultants. While the study on Koparkhairne bridge will be taken up by the BMC, we will take up the Airoli junction study,” Madan said.
Another official from the MMRDA said the bridge will connect the GMLR to the link road connecting Koparkhairne and Navi Mumbai Airport.
Madan added that after the studies are conducted, the MMRDA will start applying for clearances from the environment ministry and work on the project is expected to begin in another two years’ time.
BJP MP Kirit Somaiya, who also attended the meeting, supported the move and give his suggestions.
“There is need for better connectivity for people who are travelling from areas like Malad, Kandivali and Borivali so that they can access the Navi Mumbai Airport as well,” he said.
The MP added that: “Since the GMLR will bring additional traffic from the western suburbs, we suggested that some kind of connectivity be developed for that. The GMLR will be treated as a freeway since once the road is functional, journey between the Western Express Highway and the Eastern Express Highway can be completed in just 17 minutes.”