Modi Unveils India’s Longest Sea Bridge: 21.8KM Mumbai-Navi Mumbai Link, Transforming 2-Hour Drive to 16-Minute

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Atal Setu, the country’s longest sea bridge, connecting New Mumbai to Mumbai on Friday. The bridge, with a length of 21.8 kilometers, is a part of the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) and reduces travel time between the two locations to just 16 minutes. The construction cost of the bridge is estimated to be ₹17,843 crores, and it was unveiled by Modi in December 2016.

Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) – Key Features and Impact

The 21.8-kilometer, six-lane bridge, known as the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL), includes a 16.5-kilometer stretch over the sea and a 5.5-kilometer section on land. With a daily capacity of 70,000 vehicles, it is expected to facilitate the passage of around 50,000 vehicles daily. The MTHL website suggests an annual fuel saving of one crore liters due to bridge usage, contributing to a reduction of approximately 25,680 metric tons of CO2 emissions.

Construction Details and Environmental Impact of the Bridge

The construction of the bridge required 1.78 lakh metric tons of steel and 5.04 lakh metric tons of cement. The bridge is equipped with 400 CCTV cameras for surveillance and features sound barriers and modern lighting for the safety of birds and marine life. Toll charges for vehicles on the bridge range from ₹250 to ₹375.

Speed Limits and Vehicle Restrictions on the Bridge

The Mumbai Police announced speed limits on the bridge, restricting four-wheelers, minibusses, and two-axle vehicles to a maximum speed of 100 KMPH. The ascent and descent speed on the bridge will not exceed 40 KMPH, and entry is restricted for motorcycles, mopeds, three-wheelers, autos, and tractors.

Environmental Impact and Conservation Efforts

The bridge is estimated to contribute to an annual fuel saving of one crore liters and will result in an increase of approximately 25,680 metric tons of CO2 emissions. Noise barriers cover an 8.5-kilometer section on the Mumbai side of the bridge, and the structure has side barricading for about 5 kilometers near BARC (Bhabha Atomic Research Center) to protect sensitive areas.

Engineering Marvel – Structural Details of the Bridge

The bridge stands 15 meters above sea level, requiring excavation up to 47 meters below sea level for foundation work. During construction, care was taken to ensure minimal impact on sensitive organizations like ONGC, JNPT, and BARC. Over 5,000 workers and engineers were employed to complete the project, with construction commencing in 2018 and concluding with 5,403 laborers and engineers involved in its completion.

Niyati Rao

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