The BMC has awarded the contract to a joint venture of Apco Infrateck Private Ltd, a Lucknow-based company, and China Railway First Group Company Ltd (CRFG), a China-based infrastructure company, ro build two Road Over Bridges (ROBs) in Mumbai, including a cable-stayed bridge at Mahalaxmi railway station.
The total project cost will be Rs 745.69 crore. As the bridges will pass over railway tracks, the civic body will give Rs 10 crore to the railways to appoint an agency for supervision. APCO-CRFG will have to finish the project in three years.
The bridges will ease traffic congestion at Mahalaxmi bridge on both Dr E Moses Road and Keshavrao Khade Marg. A 639 metres north-side conventional bridge will connect Worli Naka at Dr E Moses Road and Dhobi Ghat at Saat Rasta. The south side will be a 803 metres cable-stayed bridge connecting Saat Rasta near New Shirin Theatre and Racecourse and Haji Ali at Keshavrao Khade Marg.
This is the first time the BMC is going to construct a cable-stayed bridge, similar to Bandra-Worli Sea Link. Civic officials feel these bridges will in future also help cater to vehicles coming from Coastal Road, which has an interchange at Haji Ali.
The proposal will be tabled in the Standing Committee for final approval today (Wednesday). An official from the Bridge department said, “Current Mahalaxmi bridge, which is over 90 years old, faces major traffic jam and has also become dilapidated. Being one of the important connectivity from Saat Rasta to Haji Ali, Worli Naka, Mahalaxmi Temple and Lower Parel area it sees lot of traffic jams. Two new bridges will surely give relief to motorists.”
In 2017, a structural audit of Mahalaxmi bridge had revealed it needs urgent repairs. Following the report, a plan to build two ROBs was in consideration for the last two years. On questions about the propriety of allowing a Chinese company to build the structure, the BMC has said the joint venture of APCO-CRFG does not require permission from the Home Ministry as the Indian partner has a 65 per cent stake.