Commuters applaud short travel time on Coastal Road | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Commuters applaud short travel time on Coastal Road

Mar 13, 2024 07:20 AM IST

Mumbai's Coastal Road southbound carriageway opens, reducing commute times significantly. Citizens express joy and excitement over the seamless drive experience.

MUMBAI: For Mumbaikars, the first day of the drive through the newly unveiled southbound carriageway of the Coastal Road -- from Worli Sea Face to Princess Street Flyover – was nothing short of a joyride. When a 30- to 45-minute commute shrinks to 10 minutes in Mumbai, the exhilaration is palpable.

The Coastal Road was thrown open to the traffic on Tuesday. (Raju Shinde/HT Photo)
The Coastal Road was thrown open to the traffic on Tuesday. (Raju Shinde/HT Photo)

According to Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), 16,331 vehicles travelled on the route on Tuesday between 8am and 8pm.

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Advocate Mohan Raj Singhi, a resident of Ahmedabad who comes to Nariman Point for work every week, was pleasantly surprised to find his travel time from the airport to his place of work significantly reduced. “It takes me an hour to reach Churchgate from the airport. Today I was in within 30 minutes. The roads are smooth. BMC has done a remarkable job,” he said.

Thane resident Naved Ansari wanted to film a reel for a social media post on this leg of the Coastal Road. He started from his home at 6.30am and waited for it to open. “I reached an hour prior to the opening at 8.05am and was in town at 8.14am -- in less than 10 minutes. It is seamless and connected to locations which will come up in due course, such as the one between Bhulabhai Desai Road to the Coastal Road. This is the best thing to have happened to Mumbai.”

Likewise, Worli resident Shubham Kothari considered the new development a boon for citizens. He reached his workplace “in a blink”. “Mumbai needs more such infrastructure projects,” he said. It took Byculla resident Deepak Narkar 10 minutes to make it to Marine Drive from Worli Sea Face. “We travelled the route at 8 am just for the experience – it was surreal,” he said.

Vipul Surana, team leader of AECOM, the general consultant for the Coastal Road project, said citizens had queued up at Worli from 6am for a “seamless drive on day one”, adding that the absence of toll unlike MTHL may have contributed to the general enthusiasm.

Marshals were deployed from Worli to Marine Drive to ensure no cars enter the Coastal Road before 8am and post-8pm. Surana said, “This rule has been enforced also to ensure that none of the construction workers of the contractor use the expressway when it is functional between 8am to 8pm.”

Cycle track planned

Additionally, the BMC also tweaked the original plan for the 7.5-km promenade from Worli to Princess Street flyover, with an addition of a cycle track all along it. It is scheduled to open in May alongside the northbound carriageway. The promenade will run along seaward side of the Coastal Road where 70 hectares of open space will be created.

“There was the request only for a promenade, but we will make it better by putting a cycle track. Both the cycle track and the northbound lane connecting to the Bandra Worli Sea Link will open in May,” said Surana.

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