Going towards Thane? Brace for traffic congestion at Kopri
The city is all set to get five flyovers by next year. While work for widening of Kopri bridge on the Eastern Express Highway has begun, the work on the other four will start next month.
The flyovers are being built in the main areas and in the heart of the city. The simultaneous work will cause traffic problems.
Though the flyovers will ease road congestion, the construction work will add to the traffic mess.
The completion of all flyovers will take at least two to three years.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority will f und three flyovers — Meenatai Thackeray flyover, Almeida Junction Flyover and Naupada flyover. The rest will be built through Thane Municipal Corporation funds.
Additional commissioner Sunil Chavan said the tendering process of the new flyover is complete. “We have decided to divert the traffic after the construction starts. We will work out the routes. The soil conservation test work is going on and the work will start after that,” said Chavan.
The most vital and busiest bridge, the 500- metre Kalwa bridge, connects Thane to Kalwa, Mumbra and Navi Mumbai. “The construction of a Kalwa flyover will create traffic snarls,” said Chavan. Widening of Kopri bridge on the Eastern Express Highway has already begun.
The traffic police are bracing for more chaos on roads and are planning to divert traffic. The diversion is not going to help much as the roads are narrow and Thane’s vehicle count has multiplied.
Traffic deputy commissioner of police Rashmi Karandikar said that they would chalk out a plan to ease traffic till the flyover work is completed. “We have declared no-parking zones in areas around the construction site. This will free up the narrow roads,” said Karandikar.
The police will appeal to motorists to drive on highways if possible. “Another important bridge is the two-lane Kopri bridge on the
Eastern Express Highway which sees a vehicle line-up of 1 to 2 km. The widening of the bridge has already started.”
The Eastern Express highway has six lanes while the Kopri bridge has only two lanes. During peak hours, 50,000 vehicles take the Kopri bridge. This widening work will be completed in 2016.
Santosh Joshi, 41, lives in Kalwa and regularly drives to Thane.
“It takes me 15 to 20 minutes to cross Kalwa bridge. If I want to go to Mumbai taking the Eastern Express Highway, I have to pay double the toll. Going to Navi Mumbai means crossing three toll plazas,” said Joshi.