Nearly a year after it opened the first phase of the Eastern Freeway, the city’s development authority is working to complete the second phase, which will provide an uninterrupted ride from south Mumbai to the Chembur-Mankhurd Link Road, by mid-May.
Except for a 100-metre patch that needs to be concretised, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has completed work on the elevated Panjarpol-Ghatkopar Link Road and is now focusing on giving final touches to the structure.
“We are at present working on fringe elements such as paintings and signages, and concretising the small patch that is left. It will require a seven-day curing period. So, all put together we will complete the work by May 15,” said an MMRDA official, who did not wish to be named.
The chief minister had inaugurated the first phase of the Eastern Freeway from Orange Gate on P D’Mello Road to the Panjarpol junction in Chembur in June last year. At that time, the MMRDA had expected to complete the 2.4-km Panjarpol-Ghatkopar Link Road in December.
The development authority will open two more ramps to the freeway for traffic on Wednesday. These will provide an additional exit to Chembur and also partially help decongest the Panjarpol junction, which regularly witnesses traffic snarls during peak hours.
The first will be an exit ramp for commuters, who want to travel towards Mysore Colony, RCF and Mahul village from the 4.3-km Anik-Panjarpol Link Road, which is a part of the freeway. The ramp is 300m long and 7.5m wide.
The second ramp-750m long and 8m wide-is at the Panjarpol junction for commuters who want to travel to south Mumbai. “Earlier, there was only one ramp available to commuters who wanted to access the freeway, as also those who wanted to exit. Now, there will be separate roads for north and south-bound traffic using two separate tunnels,” the MMRDA official added.
While the north-bound tunnel of the twin tunnels was operational as part of the first phase of the freeway, the second tunnel, for traffic towards south, was opened earlier this month. In the first week of April, the MMRDA had also completed approach roads at the Mahul creek to either side of the elevated section of the freeway to the Anik-Panjarpol Link Road.