Go­ing to­wards Thane? Brace for traf­fic con­ges­tion at Ko­pri

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - HT NAVI MUMBAI - Shashikant Kothekar [email protected]­tan­times.com

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.

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