Mumbai, July 1 (ANI): The much-awaited Bandra Worli Sea Link (BWSL), an ambitious eight-lane twin carriageway built over the Mahim Creek of Arabian Sea, opened for commuters here on Wednesday.
There were huge traffic snarls leaving commuters desperate to hit the 5.6 km-long engineering marvel, which rests on two towers, each 126 metres tall or equivalent to a 43-storeyed building.
People were excited that their commuting time was reduced substantially.
"I have just gone to Worli and returned back to Bandra. It took only 15 minutes," said Aditya Chinoy, a resident.
The sea link may be hit by about 100,000 vehicles daily, helping many skip nearly two-dozen traffic lights and cut more than half an hour.
Meanwhile, a police patrol boat was stuck under the sea link at around 6:30 a.m.
The coastguard put a chopper into action to rescue nine people who were stranded on the boat.
The project, which was conceived in the 1990s was plagued by a series of Public Interest Litigations (PILs) from fishermen and environmentalists, the work was finally started in October 2004.
The agitations forced the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) to make around 80 per cent changes in the design of the bridge, which increased the cost of the project from Rs 1,306 to Rs 1,650 crore.
The link is equipped with state-of-the-art systems for traffic monitoring, emergency support and an automated toll system.
Two cable stayed bridges, a 600-meter long at Bandra channel and the other twin-tower supported 350 meter long at the Worli channel. (ANI)