Have you ever wondered how it feels to drive on a bridge that spans over the Arabian Sea and connects two of the busiest suburbs of Mumbai? If yes, then you should definitely visit the Bandra Worli Sea Link, one of the most iconic landmarks and attractions in the city.
The Bandra-Worli Sea Link, officially known as the Rajiv Gandhi Sea Link, is a cable-stayed bridge that links Bandra in the western suburbs of Mumbai with Worli in South Mumbai. It is 5.6 km long and has eight lanes that can carry up to 37,500 vehicles per day. The Bandra Worli Sea Link was built to reduce the travel time between Bandra and Worli from 60-90 minutes to 10-15 minutes, by avoiding the traffic jams on the Mahim Causeway and other arterial roads. It also provides a faster and more convenient access to the business districts, airports, and other parts of the city.
In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about the Bandra Worli Sea Link, its history, architecture, significance, and tourism potential.
The idea of building a sea link between Bandra and Worli was first proposed in 1963 by Wilbur Smith and Associates as part of a traffic study for Mumbai. The project was approved by the Maharashtra State Government in 1999 and awarded to Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) in 2000. The construction began in 2002 and was completed in 2009. The sea link was inaugurated by Sonia Gandhi on June 30th 2009.
The project faced several hurdles and criticisms during its construction, such as protests from fishermen who claimed that their livelihoods were affected by the sea link, petitions from environmentalists who argued that the sea link would damage the marine ecology and alter the coastline, lawsuits from contractors who demanded higher compensation for inflation and delays, accidents that resulted in injuries and deaths of workers and engineers, etc.
The project cost around Rs. 1,600 crore ($220 million), which was four times more than the original estimate. The project also saved around Rs. 100 crore ($14 million) per year in fuel costs and reduced carbon emissions by 1.2 lakh tonnes per year.
The Bandra Worli Sea Link is a cable-stayed bridge with two main towers that support the bridge deck with steel cables. The bridge deck consists of pre-stressed concrete-steel viaducts that span between the towers and the abutments at both ends. The towers are 126 m high and have a shape of an inverted “Y”.
The cables are arranged in a harp-like pattern and have a total length of 37 km. The bridge deck is 20 m wide and has four lanes on each side.
The Bandra Worli Sea Link is designed to resist wind speeds of up to 120 km/h and earthquakes of up to magnitude 7 on the Richter scale. The bridge deck is flexible enough to accommodate thermal expansion and contraction. The pylons are anchored to the bedrock with deep foundations and piles.
The cables are coated with corrosion-resistant materials and have sensors to monitor their tension and vibration. The bridge also has an advanced traffic management system that controls the speed limit, lane discipline, toll collection, emergency services, etc.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit the Bandra Worli Sea Link is during the monsoon season (June to September), when the sky is clear and the sea is calm. The best time of the day to visit the sea link is during the sunrise or sunset, when the bridge is illuminated by the natural light and the city skyline.
The Bandra Worli Sea Link is a great place to capture some stunning photos of the bridge and the cityscape. You can also enjoy the panoramic view of the Arabian Sea and the Mumbai coastline from the bridge. You can also spot some landmarks and attractions along the way, such as the Haji Ali Dargah, the Mahalaxmi Temple, the Worli Fort, etc.
Tips for Visiting
The toll charges for using the Bandra Worli Sea Link are Rs. 70 ($1) for cars, Rs. 105 ($1.5) for buses, and Rs. 145 ($2) for trucks. The toll is collected only in one direction, from Bandra to Worli. The traffic rules on the sea link are strict and violators are fined or penalized. The speed limit on the sea link is 50 km/h and overtaking is prohibited.
There are no parking facilities on the sea link, so you have to park your vehicle at either end of the bridge. There are many nearby attractions that you can visit after crossing the sea link, such as Bandra Fort, Mount Mary Church, Siddhivinayak Temple, Nehru Planetarium, etc.
How To Reach Bandra-Worli Sea Link From Airport?
One of the ways to reach Bandra Worli Sea Link from the airport is by taking a bus. You can take the bus C-71Exp from Domestic Airport Junction to Mahim Phatak, and then take the line 1 bus from Mahim Bus Station to Bandra Reclamation Bus Station.
The Bandra Worli Sea Link is about 1.5 km from the Bandra Reclamation Bus Station. This route may take about 1 hour and 19 minutes, depending on the traffic conditions. The total fare for this route is Rs. 30 - Rs. 45.
Another way to reach Bandra Worli Sea Link from the airport is by taking a taxi. You can hire a taxi from the airport and drive directly to the sea link. This route may take about 8 minutes, depending on the traffic conditions. The approximate cost for this route is Rs. 170 - Rs. 210.
The Bandra Worli Sea Link is a remarkable feat of engineering and tourism in Mumbai. It connects two of the busiest suburbs of the city and reduces travel time and traffic congestion. It also offers a spectacular view of the Arabian Sea and the Mumbai skyline. It is a must-visit attraction for anyone who wants to experience the beauty and diversity of Mumbai.
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If you are planning to visit Mumbai or Maharashtra, don’t miss the chance to drive on the Bandra Worli Sea Link and witness its majesty and elegance. You can also check out our other articles on Maharashtra Tourism and discover more amazing places and experiences in this state.