Changing city: Thane Creek Bridge 3 will help disperse traffic, ensure hassle free traveling experience

The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) is undertaking the Thane Creek Bridge (TCB) 3 construction work. The project was initiated to decongest the traffic from the existing TCB 1 and 2 since an international airport is coming up in Navi Mumbai. This new bridge, once ready, will ensure smooth traffic movement and hassle-free connectivity between the twin cities — Mumbai and Navi Mumbai.

A look at the project and alignment: TCB 3 will run parallel to the existing TCB 1 and 2. The new bridge is a 3+3 lane. The new bridge construction was proposed as the existing TCB 1 and 2 were built in 1973 and 1997, and now with the rising vehicular movement and upcoming Navi Mumbai, this new bridge was a necessity.

Project progress: 33% work done. Completion deadline: TCB 3 work began in September 2018 as projected, but due to necessary permission to cut mangroves and trees coming in the alignment of the bridge, the project got delayed by two years. Thereafter, the Covid-19 pandemic hit and lack of manpower further delayed the project. It was previously proposed to be completed in 2023 but it has been delayed and the new revised deadline is August 2024.

Project Contractor: Larsen & Toubro Limited (L&T).

Cost of overall project: Rs 775 crore

Challenges faced: A total of 430 mangroves were affected due to the upcoming TCB 3 project. The MSRDC has allotted 1.4 hectare of land in Erangal at Malad Island in exchange for carrying out the afforestation. The state government handed over the land to MSRDC for the bridge free of cost. Besides this, it also paid Rs 15 crore for the conservation of mangroves and flamingo sanctuary. Moreover, an interim compensation was also paid to the Bombay High Court after a fishermen association filed a plea over loss of livelihood. The case is ongoing.

What MSRDC official has to say: The TCB 3 will cater largely to the commercial vehicles going to the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT). On the old and new upcoming TCB 3, the daily commuter count will be over one lakh. To ensure easy movement of vehicles on TCB, which is a tolled road, the existing Vashi Toll Naka lanes will be increased. The TCB 3 will help disperse the traffic.

Provisions: MSRDC along with constructing the new 3+3 lane bridge has also made a provision for utility lines to pass. On the existing TCB 1 and 2, a gas pipeline and petroleum pipeline are passing which brings revenue to the MSRDC. As per the corporation, such revenue is useful to recover the project cost and raise money for the maintenance of the bridge.

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