In a significant development for commuters in Mumbai and the surrounding regions, the expansion of the Mankhurd Railway Over Bridge (ROB) on the Sion Panvel Special State Highway is nearly finished and set to open for vehicular traffic soon. This expansion is a critical upgrade to one of the busiest routes in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region
The Sion-Panvel Highway, a vital artery connecting Mumbai to Pune, Goa, Karnataka, Telengana, and the Konkan Region, boasts eight lanes in total, both in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai. However, the Mankhurd RoB, situated on the highway, has only four lanes, creating a bottleneck situation that leads to heavy traffic congestion during peak hours. On average, about 2,50,000 vehicles use this RoB daily for entering or leaving Mumbai to Navi Mumbai. The Sion-Panvel Highway also facilitates traffic movement to and from Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT).
Two lanes in both directions
Overseen by MahaRail and entrusted by the Public Works Department, Government of Maharashtra, this project has added two lanes in both directions, adjacent to the existing highway that connects Mankhurd and Govandi Railway Stations. .
"Despite facing numerous challenges, including the need to maintain continuous rail traffic, the construction of the ROB was executed seamlessly. Special micropiles were used to overcome space constraints, and the installation of steel girders over railway spans was completed without disrupting the local train schedule on the Harbour line" said an official of MahaRail.
A vital corridor
The 25-kilometer Sion Panvel Special State Highway, spanning from Sion to Panvel via Mankhurd and Turbhe in Navi Mumbai, has witnessed various improvements over the years, including new flyovers and widening to ten lanes within Navi Mumbai. It serves as a vital corridor for numerous services, including gas pipelines, telecom cables, lube pipelines, and electricity cables.
"With the imminent opening of the expanded Mankhurd ROB, commuters can look forward to reduced congestion and faster travel between Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai, Pune, and Goa. LED streetlights will illuminate the bridge for enhanced night visibility. The total cost of the project stands at 86.91 Crore" said an official of MahaRail.
According to MahaRail, work on the Mankhurd ROB commenced in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, presenting various challenges such as busy traffic on Sion - Panvel Highway, limited workable area for new additional lanes, an active Harbor Railway Line, construction of a Metro Railway line in the center of the highway, and a major utility corridor housing gas pipelines, telecom cables, lube pipelines, crude oil, and electricity cables. However, MahaRail successfully completed the work, ensuring no hindrance to ongoing vehicle traffic on the Sion - Panvel Highway and active railway schedules.