Civil work on Eastern Freeway complete, road to open in May
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At about 12.10 pm, a launching girder placed at Mahul lowered its suspenders and lifted an 80-tonne concrete segment, roughly the weight of 16 elephants. Within a matter of minutes, the launching truss neatly set the segment to cover the missing block in a string of concrete slabs.
The launching of this segment, decorated with colourful ribbons and garlands, marked the end of the mammoth construction process of the Eastern Freeway, touted to be a game-changer for the city's north-south traffic, nearly five years after the work started.
With the civil construction now complete, the only work that remains before MMRDA can open the road to traffic is pouring concrete and black-topping of the road.
The Eastern Freeway will be a 9.3-km elevated corridor from Orange Gate to near Bhakti Park in Wadala, which will join the under-construction Anik-Panjarpol Link Road. This 5-km at-grade road will in turn join 2.5-km Panjarpol-Ghatkopar link road, thus providing seamless connectivity from Ghatkopar to south Mumbai.
The entire road, which will be toll-free, is being built at a cost of Rs 1,250 crore.
In first phase, MMRDA plans to commission Eastern Freeway and four lanes of eight-laned Anik-Panjarpol link road, including a 500-metre tunnel, in May.
The construction of the elevated Eastern Freeway required the launching of 3,346 segments arranged in 313 spans of 26 to 35 metres each. About 16 lakh cement bags, 32,000 metric tonnes of steel and 2,600-km long high-tension wires were used in the construction of the road, contracted to Simplex Infrastructure. A team of 2,000 labourers and about a hundred engineers worked at the site round-the-clock.
MMRDA finished most of the launching exercise by January and only a few segments were left on a 700-metre stretch as a few high-tension wires of Tata Power had to be shifted.
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