The BMC plans to construct two road overbridges to ease traffic congestion around Mahalaxmi station and provide motorists direct connectivity to Haji Ali Junction and Worli Naka. On an average, 5,000 vehicles pass every hour through the existing century-old bridge, called the Mahalaxmi bridge. It is currently being repaired at the cost of Rs.6 crore.
One ROB, which will be constructed on the southern side of the station, will be a cable-stayed bridge, like the Bandra-Worli Sea Link. It will run from Keshavrao Khade Marg, near New Shirin Theatre, and lead to Racecourse Road, providing connectivity to Haji Ali Junction. The other will be on the northern side, to the right of Saat Rasta. It will link up Lower E Moses Road (Dhobi Ghat) with Upper E Moses Road, and run along the station, leading to Worli Naka. While the former will allow 2,500 vehicles to ply every hour, the second one will have an hourly carrying capacity of 3,500 vehicles.
The bridges will cost Rs.507 crore. The BMC has already given the contract to city-based Spectrum Consultants. Work will begin in two months and the deadline for completion is 2022.
“The proposed ROBs will reduce travel time for people who want to go from Saat Rasta to Worli Naka and Haji Ali intersection. Currently, to reach Worli Naka from Saat Rasta, one has to use the Mahalaxmi bridge and then turn right. The ROBs will provide a direct connection,” an official from the BMC’s Bridges Department said.
“There is an intersection at Haji Ali for the coastal road project’s east-west connectivity. People heading to the town – Byculla, Bhendi Bazaar or South Mumbai – will take the coastal road and land at the Haji Ali Juice Centre junction. From there they will take the new cable-stayed bridge, which will go over the railway tracks and culminate at New Shirin Theatre,” he added.
The official said it will take two years for that side of the coastal road to be built, and by then the ROB will be ready. However, the Mahalaxmi bridge won’t be demolished, the official said.