Bye-pass to Kopri that worked during monsoon of 2019

TMC's three internal flyovers held during the Monsoon 2019

We at Rustomjee Urbania headed south towards Mimbai by road have to endure a painful slowdown at Kopri daily. The road overbridge above the railway tracks narrows both ways and thus slows down traffic. Crossing the Kopri bridge quickly is a major accomplishment of a day for Thane-ites if it does happen. The slowing down of traffic at the Mulund Toll only adds to the stress of road jounreys out of and back to Thane from Mimbai. Monsoons sadly make road journeys at Thane worse. With part of the road leading away from both sides of the Kopri overbridge barricaded for widening of the bridge, in monsoon of 2019 crossing Kopri bridge was even more painful. Luckily, TMC was encouraging alternate routes to and from Kopri and had made provisions for bypassing the Eastern Express Highway (EEH) to get from Kopri to Rustomjee Urbania and into Mumbai. For the return journey after the toll, one has to stay on the right lanes and cross incoming traffic to get to Kopri and this is about the only challenge in the route I suggest below.

The three internal flyovers of Thane: When TMC first started working on the three internal flyovers at Thane intersecting the busy Gokhale Road and other roads in the old areaa of Thane, it was not even clear what they were attempting. Thereafter, the middle one of the 3 flyovers got ready and was initially soft launched. The other two flyovers one landing at Kopri and another at Majiwade took a while in the making. TMC had got all three flyovers made with steel reinforcement (girders) and not all concrete which perhaps helped in speedier completion of these flyovers. The section over Gokhale Road was a mystery till the end as it was not clear where the flyover would land. Finally, the section over Gokhale Road was done and it lands and originates in front of the Navpada Police Station. Come election time public amenities in India get finished double quick and so our internal Thane flyovers too got finished and spruced up before the General Elections of 2019.

Between Jun and September 2019 when Thane, like neighbouring Mumbai was experiencing heavy rainfall, road journeys on EEH were miserable to say the least. The crater like potholes that developed on the road made daily road commutes both long and painful (the journeys were nothing short of bone rattling). The three internal flyovers of Thane were a Godsend during monsoon of 2019 and helped cut down the minutes if not hours of journey from and to Kopri. No traffic jams were reported on these flyovers and no breakdowns of vehicles happened on them. One question that has intrigued me is: on any of these three narrow flyovers if there is a vehicle breakdown what happens? The traffic police may have to stop vehicles on both sides of the flyover to retrieve a stalled vehicle before letting traffic resume.

My experience of driving in Indian cities is that the drivers follow a herd mentality and all congregate the same same road, mostly the main roads or highways. Even when there are alternates, side lanes and narrow roads off the main ones, very few riders use them. So you typically have the spectacle of clogged main roads with crawling traffic whereas the roads off such roads are practically empty with few vehicles using them. TMC has done well to make flyovers within the city (though not bidirectional throughout) and those are a boon to avoid the pot hole ridden EEH from Rustomjee Urbania to Kopri and back. The 3 internal flyovers held well and facilitated traffic during the heavy monsoon rainfall of 2019. Hopefully TMC fixes the roads on the flyovers by tarring them again as those roads too took a beating in rains this year and have abraded surfaces.