Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday viewed the newly-completed Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL), and flagged off a bus which traversed a short distance on the much-awaited 22-km long bridge.
The 6-lane MTHL - comprising a 16.5 km sea bridge and 5.5 km long land viaducts on the approach at both ends - is slated to open for traffic by November.Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)'s Indian representative Eva Moto, Japanese diplomat Dr. Fukahori Yasukata, officials like S. V. R. Srinivas, Bhushan Gagrani, and a large number of media persons were present to mark the red-carpet occasion.
After waving the green flag to the open-deck double-decker bus, Shinde said that this will be the longest sea-bridge in India and the 10th longest in the world.It will help save time, fuel, the environment, reduce congestion in Mumbai and provide better connectivity to the mainland, the upcoming new international airport, the Mumbai Port and Jawaharlal Nehru Port, Pune, Konkan, Goa and beyond, said Shinde.
The orthotropic steel deck technology has been deployed for the first time in India with around 85,000 tons - or the weight of 500 Boeing 747 aircraft - to build the MTHL.The total reinforcement steel used is 170,000 tons, or the equivalent of 17 times the weight of Eiffel Tower, and the total length, 48,000-kms of PT strands used, is nearly four times the Earth's diameter.
The concrete used in MTHL is 975,000 cum, or nearly six times the amount used in the State of Unity, Gujarat, and total length of pile liner (30 kms) is 55 times the height of Burj Khalifa of Dubai.
The current physical completion of the project comprising 70 long spans, varying from 65 metres to 180 metres, is around 94 percent.
Now, over the next few months, the final finishing touches shall be given to MTHL including asphalting, crash barriers, lightings and reflectors, markers and indicators, the toll collection points, etc.