Mumbai: Western Express Highway to have underpass for traffic-free drive to airport

To facilitate traffic-free driving experience to travellers of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International (Terminal 2) and Domestic (Terminal 1) Airports, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has proposed vehicular underpasses and widening of the existing Juhu-Vile Parle flyover.

Once ready, the motorists can drive at 40km/hr in these underpasses reducing the existing travel time.

Since a contractor for the project has been selected, a ground breaking ceremony on May 31 along with starting the proposed 20km trial run on Metro Line 2A(Dahisar to DN Nagar) and 7 (Dahidar East to Andheri East) has been planned.

At T2, two underpasses will be built costing Rs 111.94 crore and at T1 one underpass and widening of the said Juhu-Vile Parle flyover will be done together at cost of Rs 76 crore. T1 project is expected to be completed in 18 months and T2 in 24 months. Defect liability period after completion of work for both will be 5 years.

R P S Infra Projects Pvt Ltd has been recently awarded the contract through tendering process for both the T2 and T1 underpasses construction and flyover widening work.

Currently, the Western Express Highway (WEH) that leads the road to the T2 and T1 airports see a lot of traffic congestion especially during peak hours. According to the traffic survey report, at the T2 and T1 junctions on WEH during peak hours, the traffic is more than 10,000 passengers car unit (PCU). Therefore, it was suggested by the consultants that a grade separated underpass should be developed.

As per the plan, for access control on WEH from Bandra to T1 a controlled Underpass (-1 level) with drains has been proposed. The length of the Underpass is 0.384 km (Including approaches). The Underpass will be of two lanes and 10.25 m width. Widening of the flyover at the Junction on each side by one lane of 3.5 m is proposed. Length of the stretch of widening in direction from Dahisar to Bandra is 0.458 km and from Bandra to Dahisar is 0.239 km. This underpass route from Bandra to Domestic Airport (-1 level) will provide free right turn, reducing signal timing and streamline traffic. For existing Juhu-Vile Parle flyover widening of one lane towards Dahisar and one lane towards Bandra is proposed, which will increase the traffic capacity of the elevated route.

Similarly, for access control on WEH from T2 towards Dahisar & Bandra, two controlled underpasses with drains have been proposed. From International airport towards Dahisar underpass at (-2 level) below the ground of length 1.035 km in width of 10.25 m and another underpass from International airport towards Bandra at (-1 level) below the ground of length 0.505 km in width of 10.25 m is proposed.

Currently, motorists from the T2 to Dahisar side have to first take a left turn and then take a u-turn below the flyover to go towards Dahisar side. And this movement is cumbersome and adds unavoidable traffic to the links. Hence direct movement through an underpass ramp is provided at -2 level. Similarly, traffic from T2 to Bandra side presently moves at grade and some vehicles take slip road and long distance travellers take the flyover. Due to the short weaving distance between the left turn point and the flyover, congestion is observed. Hence direct underpass ramp is provided -1 level and slip road traffic will take a left turn at grade.

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