Thursday, July 16, 2009

Bandra-worli sealink, part 2 - Design concerns

Folks, good news! After the initial mad rush to get on the bridge and try it out for free things seems to be returning to normal. There are already plenty of reports hailing the Bandra-worli sealink as a God sent. Travelers most positively impacted seem to be the ones traveling from town to the eastern suburbs and beyond. However, concerns remain about the exits. Recently, we've also received reports that the second carriage-way won't be commissioned till supporting structures are built as part of the Haji-Ali extension.

Let's start by addressing concerns with the exits. The one thing to keep in mind here is that the BWSL is just one part of a much larger project to create a ring-road around Bombay. The Worli exit where all southbound traffic from the bridge currently gets dumped will merely serve as one of the ring-road's many gateways in the future. As the bridge is extended to Haji-Ali you will see a significant reduction in traffic in the area. Thus, I would ask residents of worli sea-face to be patient (definitely easier said than done) but I honestly think they would be better served by focusing their energies on ensuring that the administration builds the extension as soon as possible. No one can deny that Worli sea-face has been negatively impacted by construction of this bridge but I think it's only a temporary issue.

Things at the bandra end are a little more complicated. Traffic going northbound towards the western suburbs is funneled onto the already congested S.V. road. I don't believe there is currently a plan to address this issue. Concerns around the Bandra exit are completely valid and I think before we blame local MPs and MLAs for a mess thats been created right under their noses we should give them the opportunity to share their vision for the link. Priya Dutt is the MP for Bombay's North-Central district. Her website is and her email address is Baba Siddique is the MLA from Bandra. His website is

I think the idea of not opening up the second carriage-way till the required supporting structures are built makes sense. Why these structures were not built along with the BWSL is a mystery but now rather than cramming all 8 lanes of traffic onto 4 lanes while getting on/off the bridge at Worli we need a trumpet interchange to facilitate the smooth flow of traffic. Construction of this interchange is already part of the Haji-Ali extension plan, which is just another reason to get started with the extension right away.

What I am most excited about is the impact the bridge has had on the hearts and minds of the people of Bombay. Bombayites are filled with a sense of pride at this engineering marvel built in their own backyard. The nay-sayers who predicted that this bridge would never be completed and the numerous others who denied it's usefulness have been proven wrong. Citizens are now exposed to the benefits of world class infrastructure all made in India. Just like with the Delhi metro project, the bar has been raised and voters will demand similar projects in their districts, cities and states. The fulfillment of which will generate jobs, improve quality of lives and fuel the growth of India's economy.

If you enjoy following and discussing infrastructure projects in India, the folks at Skyscrapercity do a great job of documenting the progress of such projects with pictures, lively discussion and links. Join them at:

If you have any additional questions or concerns, please message me on twitter @hvhoon.

No comments: