In what will help provide better road connectivity within and outside the city, the 16.8km-long Eastern Freeway project from PD’Mello Road to Ghatkopar is expected to be ready by the end of the year.
The Rs847-crore project is divided into three packages - from P D’Mello Road to Anik- Panjarpol Link Road (Rs531 crore for 9.3km), Anik to Panjarpol-Ghatkopar Link Road (Rs 148 crore for 5km) and Panjarpol to Ghatkopar (Rs168 crore for the 2.5km corridor).
“I expect the Eastern Freeway to be complete by December this year,” said Rahul Asthana, commissioner, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), after visiting the entire stretch of the project, including the Anik-Panjarpol and Panjarpol-Ghatkopar Link Roads on Saturday.
“The Eastern Freeway was necessitated after the city began experiencing phenomenal growth in population, which was 11.9 million in 2001 and is expected to touch the 14 million mark in 2016,” added Asthana.
“The elevated road will provide faster connectivity between the city, suburbs and the main land. Public transport and intercity buses heading towards Pune, Goa and Bangalore will be able use the Eastern Freeway and the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) to avoid the congested road network of Mumbai and Navi Mumbai and save, at least, one hour.
The express services of the BEST between the city and eastern suburbs will also be able to utilise this crucial link effectively. The link facilitates goods traffic to the port and curtails precious lead-time and fuel,” said Ashwini Bhide, additional metropolitan commissioner, MMRDA.