The final leg of the Eastern Freeway, which will enable commuters to have a signal-free ride from south Mumbai to Ghatkopar in under 25 minutes, is now in its last mile of completion, and is expected to be ready by April-end.
Engineers working on the project completed all civil work last month and are now in the process of concretising the surface of Panjarpol-Ghatkopar Link Road, which begins at Panjarpol junction near R K Studio in Chembur and ends at Chembur-Mankhurd Link Road.
“We are working on the approaches to the road. We finished launching the concrete segments in January. We are now black-topping the stretch. As per the current schedule, the work should be completed by April-end,” said an official of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA).
While speaking at the inauguration of the Chembur-Wadala Monorail earlier this month, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said the second phase of the Eastern Freeway would be opened to public in the next two-three months.
The CM 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.
Just like the elevated section of the first phase of the freeway, the Panjarpol-Ghatkopar Link Road will also have a bitumen layer atop the concrete, making the ride smoother than the riding quality experienced on a regular cement road, the MMRDA official said.
When the first phase of the freeway was inaugurated in June last year, the MMRDA had expected to commission the Panjarpol-Ghatkopar Link Road in December. However, the second phase of the showpiece project was delayed because of a few unforeseen obstacles. A transformer and a pumping station of the city’s civic body were obstructing construction on the Panjarpol side, and had to be shifted. Similarly, work was also lagging behind at the other end of the link road as there was a delay in acquiring land.
The Rs 1,250-crore Eastern Freeway is divided into three segments. The first segment is a 9.3-km elevated road from Orange Gate to Bhakti Park in Wadala, the second segment is a 4.3-km stretch at Grade Road with twin tunnels cutting through the BARC mountain to the Panjarpol junction, while the third segment is the 2.4-km elevated Panjarpol-Ghatkopar Link Road. The MMRDA had commissioned the first two segments with one of the twin tunnels in the first phase, while the second tunnel and the third segment will be
commissioned in the second phase.