Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) is a 22-kilometer-long sea bridge that is being developed in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region over the Mumbai Harbour in Maharashtra. The start point for this bridge will be Sewri in South Mumbai, and the end point will be Nhava Sheva in Navi Mumbai.
This bridge is said to connect central Mumbai and Navi Mumbai. It is constructed by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA). This MMRDA is a Maharashtra government agency whose finances are conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Mumbai Trans Harbour Link will link two different urban areas to help in connectivity and quick access from one place to another, which are more than one hour away from each other if travelled by train.
Once this bridge is completed, it will be able to carry around 70,000 vehicles at a time. It will also be known as India’s Longest Sea Bridge. This 30.1 metre-wide, six-lane bridge is being developed at a cost of Rs 18,000 crore. The Indian Ministry of Finance also sanctioned about Rs 19,200 crore for this project.
This bridge is going to greatly save time to travel from Mumbai to Navi Mumbai. The travel time from Mumbai to Navi Mumbai through the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link will be approximately 20 minutes. The MTHL project is said to bring Nagpur, Goa, and Pune closer to the city of Mumbai.
The work for the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link has been completed in 93 percent; the rest, 7 percent, is left. After the completion of the deck, the authority will start to work on installation of CCTV cameras, lampposts, and toll infrastructure. The foundation for this project was discussed and finalised in 2014, then construction in 2017, and the completion date is given around November 2023. On May 25, 2023, it was stated that the MTHL project would be open to the public in November-December of 2023, which is around four to five months from May 2023.
For the next four to five months, they will complete the things like installing crash barriers, asphalting the deck, erecting view-cutters, setting up the open toll collection centres, security and surveillance systems, markers, and signage, waterproofing the engineering structure, lights, and reflectors, etc.
Mumbai Trans Harbour Link will be the first bridge to have an Open Road Tolling System, wherein vehicles will not have to stop to pay tolls at the bridge. It will be a continuous journey without a break. ‘Once the launch of the deck is complete, MMRDA will focus on waterproofing, asphalting, and the construction of crash barriers at the sea link,’ stated the report given in The Times of India.
MMRDA is also considering on installing artificial intelligence-based cameras that are expected to reduce congestion on the road. The Times of India report states that AI-based cameras will allow the control room to be aware of vehicle breakdowns, and the authorities can subsequently tow away the broken-down vehicles via the emergency lane.
SVR Srinivas, MMRDA Commissioner, said that it is one of the crucial milestones achieved in the MTHL project. “MTHL is a crucial project as it will be the engine of economic growth by bringing the island city closer to the mainland. Moreover, a huge landmass will be added with just 15-20 minutes of travel time with this bridge. Massive developmental change is expected with the coming up of MTHL.”
On May 25, 2023 Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, along with Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis, inspected the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link under construction and kicked off the first bus to cross the MTHL project to check the deck slab completion installation.
Mumbai Trans Harbour Link will be one of the greatest achievements for India, as it will reduce traffic, facilitate connectivity, and contribute to the socio-economic growth of the country and the city.