The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has approved the appointment of Larsen & Toubro (L&T) as the contractor for the longest underground tunnel in the city that will connect Orange Gate and Marine Drive.
This tunnel will provide a traffic-free route between the Orange Gate at Eastern Freeway and Marine Drive, enhancing connectivity and reducing travel times.
According to a pressnote by the MMRDA, the Eastern Freeway, connecting Mankhurd to Chembur Junction and Orange Gate on P’Dimello Road, has significantly improved transportation to South Mumbai. However, the increased traffic at Orange Gate has become a challenge for the Mumbai Port Trust and the Main Post Office square on P’Dimello Marg.
To address these issues and create a seamless road-based transit system, the MMRDA plans to construct a 9.23 km corridor that will link the Eastern Freeway’s Orange Gate to the coastal road at Marine Drive.
The project includes a 6.51 km twin-tube underground tunnel, with each tunnel accommodating 2+2 traffic lanes, 1+1 emergency lanes, and pedestrian walkways. The project entails constructing a viaduct for vehicle access at the Eastern Freeway Orange Gate, open cuts, and access roads on both sides of the corridor. The left-side tunnel will pass beneath the seaway and resurface after B. D. SomChowk.
This project is planned by considering the safety of the underground Mumbai Metro line-3 project. For which the depth of the tunnel will be about 40 m from the ground level, ensuring it doesn’t obstruct the central rail or high-rise building foundations. Safety measures are paramount, given the project’s proximity to heritage sites and densely populated areas in South Mumbai.
Dr Sanjay Mukherjee, IAS, Metropolitan Commissioner of MMRDA, emphasized the importance of a robust transportation system in driving economic growth and sustainable development. He stated, “In the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, the MMRDA is spearheading a range of ambitious projects aimed at enhancing the region’s transportation infrastructure and fostering overall development. These projects are meticulously planned to complement one another, effectively addressing traffic congestion and providing citizens with convenient transportation options.”
The construction of the underground tunnel is a significant step towards improving connectivity between the east and west coasts of South Mumbai. It will complement other major projects in the region, such as the Sewri-Worli elevated connector, Mumbai Trans Harbor Link, Eastern Freeway, Mumbai Coastal Road Project, and Bandra-Worli Sea Link.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority is responsible for planning, coordinating, and implementing development projects in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. With a vision to create a sustainable and efficient transportation system, the MMRDA aims to enhance connectivity and promote economic growth in the region.