The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) announced that it has appointed Larsen & Toubro to build an underground tunnel linking the Eastern Freeway with the upcoming Mumbai Coastal Road (MCR) project, here on Wednesday.
The 3.8 km-long twin-tube tunnel will create seamless traffic flow between Orange Gate and Marine Drive, enhancing connectivity and slashing travel time, said MMRDA Commissioner Sanjay Mukherjee.
Estimated to cost over Rs 7,750-crore, the twin-tube tunnel project, with four lanes for traffic two for emergencies and pedestrian walkways will include a viaduct for vehicle access at the Eastern Freeway Orange Gate, open cuts and access roads on both sides of the total 9.23 km-long corridor.
The left tunnel will pass under the sea and resurface after the BD Somani Chowk and given the underground Mumbai Metro-3 running above plus the skyscrapers, the railways networks and heritage structures, this tube will run around 40 metres below the ground.
"The construction of the underground tunnel is a significant step towards improving connectivity between the east and west coasts of South Mumbai. It will complement other major projects in the region, such as the Sewri-Worli elevated connector, Mumbai Trans Harbor Link, Eastern Freeway, MCR Project, and the Bandra-Worli Sea Link," said Mukherjee.
The Eastern Freeway, linking Mankhurd-Chembur junctions with Orange Gate in south Mumbai, has considerably improved traffic movement, but the increased vehicles in south Mumbai has become a huge challenge for the Mumbai Port Trust and the GPO Square, and the new twin-tube tunnel would address it.
Incidentally, with this, Mumbai will have a network of tunnels in the city limits, one currently functional on the Eastern Freeway (1-km), the twin-tunnels (2.07-km) on MCR Project which are almost complete, the Borivali-Thane Link Road tunnel (10.25-km) and the GMLR tunnel (4.70-km) both to be dug through the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, and the latest 3.8 km underground twin tunnel to connect the Eastern Freeway and MCR Project.