Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis, on Wednesday, approved the construction of three new infrastructure projects in the state. The projects are the Bandra-Versova Sea Link, a Mumbai-Pune Expressway bypass, and a third bridge on Thane creek at Vashi on the Sion-Panvel highway.
As per a release issued by the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO), the CM, after a meeting with his cabinet’s infrastructure projects committee, has instructed that the construction work begins within a month. The near-Rs 7,000-crore project that is the Bandra-Versova Sea Link will be developed by Reliance Infrastructure and Italy’s Astaldi, in a span of five years. The project is said to be thrice the length of the present Bandra-Worli Sea Link.
Construction will commence on a third bridge on the Thane creek at Vashi. The additional six-lane bridge will be built by Larsen&Toubro at Rs 560 crore. The project also includes an extension and modernisation of the toll booth at Vashi to help reduce traffic and congestion on that stretch. However, the relief comes at a cost, as motorists will have to continue paying toll until 2036.
Construction work for the two-stage tunnel beginning at Khalapur toll booth and ending at Kusgaon near Sinhagad Institutes on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway will also commence. This project will also include a 2km long, cable-stayed bridge which will be the longest of its kind in the country. The total length of the project is 13km, with the tunnels being 11km and the bridge spanning 2km. Navayuga Engineering will build the tunnels at a cost of Rs 2,670 crore and AFCONS Infrastructure will build the 2km, cable-stay viaducts for Rs 1,492 crore.
“The 650m cable-stayed bridge, which is the longest in the country, will be a tourist attraction. This link will reduce the distance between Pune and Mumbai and will help in saving the journey time period,” the release stated.
Additionally, a new lane will be constructed in the ghat section of the Mumbai-Pune Expressway between Khopoli and Khandala, to ease congestion. The costs of these projects, however, means that toll collection on the expressway will be extended until 2045.