Unveiling Mumbai’s Game-Changer: Mumbai Coastal Road
Mumbai, the bustling metropolis by the Arabian Sea, has always been a city on the move. With its perpetual energy and relentless hustle, it’s no surprise that the city has been longing for an infrastructure marvel to ease its congestion and shorten commutes. The answer to this urban dilemma comes in the form of the breathtaking Mumbai Coastal Road, officially known as Chattrapati Sambhaji Maharaj Coastal Motorway.
1. Connecting the Dots: A Lifeline for Mumbai
The Coastal Road, currently under construction, is set to redefine the way Mumbaikars travel. This 8-lane, 29.2-kilometer long grade-separated expressway will run along Mumbai’s western coastline, connecting Marine Lines in the south to Kandivali in the north. The benefits are substantial – it’s projected to be used by 130,000 vehicles daily and is expected to reduce travel time between South Mumbai and the Western Suburbs from a grueling 2 hours to just 40 minutes.
2. The Cost of Progress
Such a transformative project doesn’t come without a significant investment. The estimated cost of the Coastal Road project is a staggering ₹13,060 crore (US$1.6 billion). While the figures might seem hefty, the long-term benefits are poised to outweigh the initial expenditure.
3. Reclaiming the Sea: A Landmark Endeavor
One of the most remarkable aspects of the project is the reclamation of 111 hectares of land from the sea. Approximately 26.5 hectares have been allocated for the road and its interchanges, and an additional 14.5 hectares are dedicated to building a seawall. The remaining 70 hectares, constituting about 63.6% of the total reclaimed land, will be transformed into green spaces and recreational amenities. This is a feat unparalleled in the history of independent India.
4. A Seafront Wonderland: The Promenade
The 70 hectares of reclaimed land not allocated for the Coastal Road itself are planned to be transformed into green and recreational areas. A 7.47-kilometer-long and 20-meter-wide contiguous promenade runs parallel to the Coastal Road on its seaward side, stretching from Priyadarshini Park to the Worli-end of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link. It’s twice the length of Marine Drive, currently the city’s longest promenade. To ensure easy access, a total of 16 pedestrian underpasses have been constructed between Priyadarshini Park and Worli.
5. The Mighty Seawall: A Shield Against Nature’s Fury
To protect the reclaimed land and prevent flooding during high tide, an 8.5-meter-high seawall was meticulously constructed along a 7.47-kilometer stretch of the road. The use of large boulders, weighing between 2-8 tonnes, obtained from the Navi Mumbai International Airport construction site, ensures superior resistance against high-velocity waves.
6. Taming the Tides: Floodgates for Safety
The BMC’s stormwater drains department has installed 16 floodgates at four strategic locations along the Coastal Road. These floodgates extend 100 meters into the sea and are equipped with diameters ranging between 2,000 and 2,500 mm, ensuring that the road remains accessible even during adverse weather conditions.
7. Commute with Convenience: Bus Bays and Parking
The BMC has constructed 10 bus bays along the Coastal Road to facilitate public transport. Additionally, the project includes underground parking facilities at four key locations, including Amarsons Garden, Worli, and Haji Ali, with a total capacity for 1,856 vehicles.
8. Beneath the Surface: Tunnels That Preserve Mumbai’s Beauty
The Coastal Road incorporates 2.07-kilometer twin tunnels connecting Girgaon Chowpatty and Priyadarshini Park. These tunnels, with an outer diameter of 12.19 meters and an inner diameter of 11 meters, have been strategically designed to preserve the iconic views of the Queen’s Necklace and Girgaon Chowpatty. With depths ranging from 14 to 72 meters below the surface, and even descending 17-20 meters beneath the Arabian Sea, these tunnels represent a pioneering engineering achievement in India.
9. Breathing Easy: Innovative Ventilation System
The tunnels feature the Saccardo ventilation system, a first in India. Three fans with a diameter of 2 meters each are installed in each tunnel, which operate in sequence, pumping outside air through Saccardo nozzles. This system ensures safety by managing smoke in case of a fire and reducing accumulation. The tunnels are also lined with fire protection sheets, enabling the concrete surface to withstand extreme temperatures. Cross passages have been included for emergency situations, allowing people to move between the tunnels.
10. A Glimpse into the Future: Coastal Road’s Timeline
The project’s timeline is a testament to its swift progress. As of May 2023, the Coastal Road is expected to be fully operational by November 2023, with a completion rate of 58%. This pivotal infrastructure will officially be named after Chattrapati Sambhaji Maharaj, adding a touch of history to Mumbai’s modernity.
In a city that never sleeps, the Mumbai Coastal Road promises to keep everyone moving seamlessly, unlocking new opportunities, and providing a scenic journey along the Arabian Sea’s edge. It’s a testament to Mumbai’s unyielding spirit and determination to make life more convenient for its residents. The city’s heart beats with anticipation, waiting for the Coastal Road to transform the landscape and redefine its future.
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