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Sunday, July 21, 2024

Mumbai Trans Harbour Link: India’s Longest Sea Bridge

The Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) stands as an ambitious venture, aiming to construct a 21.8 km road bridge that will connect Mumbai and its satellite city, Navi Mumbai, making it the longest sea bridge in India upon completion.

The project’s roots trace back to 1963 when it was initially proposed as the Uran Bridge, facing numerous challenges before gaining momentum. In 2017, the Maharashtra government entrusted the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) with the project, adopting the Engineering – Procurement – Construction (EPC) model and securing an Rs 18,000 crore development loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Spanning from Sewri in South Mumbai, crossing Thane Creek, and concluding at Chirle village near Nhava Sheva, the strategically placed bridge connects key areas such as the proposed Navi Mumbai International Airport, JNPT Port, Mumbai–Pune Expressway, and the Mumbai–Goa Highway.

Crucial interchanges at Sewri, Shivaji-Nagar, SH-54 in Jasai, and Chirle on NH-348 enhance connectivity, linking Mumbai and Navi Mumbai to expressways and the upcoming Navi Mumbai International Airport. The MTHL comprises a 16.50-km sea stretch and a 5.5-km land stretch, featuring a six-lane highway with an additional emergency lane and seven orthotropic steel deck spans, a first in India, offering advantages such as quicker assembly and flexibility.

Overseen by the MMRDA, the MTHL’s construction, estimated at Rs 17,843 crore, has utilized 91% of the projected cost, as per the November 2023 report. General consultants, including AECOM Asia Company Ltd., PADECO Co Ltd, Dar Al-Handasah, and TY Lin International, support the project, divided into four packages for civil works and Intelligent Transport System.

Expected to alleviate Mumbai’s congestion challenges, especially in local trains and public transport, the MTHL is set to improve connectivity and reduce travel time by 30-45 minutes during peak hours. Initially projected for completion by September 2023, pandemic-related delays have pushed the expected finish to January 2024, with a possibility of opening to the public in late 2023, coinciding with the late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s birth anniversary, after whom the bridge is named.

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