Connecting Mumbai to Navi Mumbai, the link reduces the travel time between the two to just 20 minutes from the present two hours.
Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL), the longest sea bridge in India, is expected to open in December 2023, according to Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.
Connecting Mumbai to Navi Mumbai, MTHL reduces the travel time between South Mumbai and Navi Mumbai to just 20 minutes from the present two hours.
The MTHL will cover 22 km, including 16.5 km over the sea and 5.5 km on land.
The bridge would include six lanes with interchanges in Sewri, Shivaji Nagar, and Chirle, Navi Mumbai, along NH-4B.
A cost estimate of Rs 17,800 crore has been given for the project.
“We would be able to open the MTHL to the public before December next year. As of now, 84 per cent of work is complete,” Shinde said after visiting the MTHL and reviewing the progress, Deccan Herald reports.
The link will provide direct access to Nhava Sheva Port, Mumbai-Goa Highway, Mumbai-Pune Expressway and the Navi Mumbai International Airport.
Work on the project got off to a start in April 2018 with the contractor conducting soil testing in the Nhava Sheva creek.
The project’s cost jumped from Rs 4,500 crore in 2005 to Rs 9,360 crore in 2013 and Rs 11,000 crore in 2014. Now, it is pegged at Rs 17,800 crore.
The Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is financing 85 per cent of the project. The loan has been offered with a 10-year grace and a 30-year repayment period.
The then Devendra Fadnavis government’s war room revived the project in 2015. Two crucial state and central clearances were obtained between November 2015 and January 2016.
In February 2016, funding from JICA was secured subject to design changes and construction standards. The central government readily stood as a counter-guarantee for the JICA loan.
The JICA agreement with MMRDA for the funding was signed in May 2016, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation for the project in December 2016.
The sea bridge is equipped with innovative technology which will allow authorities to monitor traffic on the overpass from the city’s central traffic control centre using an array of CCTV cameras.
It is envisaged that it will boost the economic growth of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region and significantly increase the connectivity between Mumbai and Navi Mumbai.