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Bandra Worli Sea Link (BWSL)


The Bandra–Worli Sea Link (BWSL), officially called Rajiv Gandhi Sea Link, is a cable-stayed bridge with pre-stressed concrete-steel viaducts on either side that links Bandra in the Western Suburbs of Mumbai with Worli in South Mumbai. The bridge is a part of the proposed Western Freeway that will link the Western Suburbs to Nariman Point in Mumbai's main business district.

The 16 billion (US$291.2 million) bridge was commissioned by the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), and built by the Hindustan Construction Company. The first four of the eight lanes of the bridge were opened to the public on 30 June 2009. All eight lanes were opened on 24 March 2010.

BWSL reduces travel time between Bandra and Worli during peak hours from 60–90 minutes to 20–30 minutes. As of October 2009, BWSL had an average daily traffic of around 37,500 vehicles.


The overall project consisted of five parts, contracted separately to accelerate the overall schedule.

  • Package I: Construction of a flyover over Love Grove junction in Worli
  • Package II: Construction of a cloverleaf interchange at the intersection of the Western Express Highway and S.V. Road in Bandra
  • Package III: Construction of solid approach road from the interchange to the Toll Plaza on the Bandra side along with a public promenade
  • Package IV: Construction of the central cable-stayed spans with northern and southern viaducts from Worli to the Toll Plaza at the Bandra end
  • Package V: Improvements to Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan Road
  • Package IV: was the main phase, with the other packages providing supporting infrastructure.

Sea Link on


BWSL was designed as the first cable-stayed bridge to be constructed in open seas in India. Due to the underlying geology, the pylons have a complex geometry and the main span over the Bandra channel is one of the longest spans of concrete deck attempted. Balancing these engineering complexities with the aesthetics of the bridge presented significant challenges for the project.

The superstructure of the viaducts were the heaviest precast segments to be built in India. They were built using a span-by-span method using overhead gantry through a series of vertical and horizontal curves.

The 20,000 tonne Bandra-end span of the bridge deck is supported by stay cables within a very close tolerance of deviations in plan and elevation.

Foundation and Substructure

The construction of the bridge's structure presented major engineering challenges. These included the highly variable geotechnical conditions due to the underlying marine geology of the seabed. At times, even for plan area of a single pile had a highly uneven foundation bed. Further compilcations included the presence of a variable intertidal zone, with parts of the foundation bed exposed in low tide and submerged in high tide.

The foundations for the BWSL's cable-stayed bridges consist of 120 reinforced concrete piles of 2,000 millimetres (6.6 ft) diameter. Those for the viaducts consist of 484 piles of 1,500 millimetres (4.9 ft). These 604 piles were driven between 6m and 34m into the substrate in geotechnical conditions that varied from highly weathered volcanic material to massive high strength rocks.

Toll collection

The Bandra end of the toll plaza has 16 approach lanes. The toll plaza is equipped with an electronic toll collection system.

At both ends, the toll collection options include:

  • Automatic electronic payment system through On-board Units mounted on vehicles for frequent-commuters that enable vehicles to pass without stopping
  • Semi-automatic cash-less electronic payment via a smart card in unattended lanes
  • Manual toll collection for payment by cash, to a toll attendant



Toll ( IN Rs.)


Single Journey

Return Journey

Day Pass















An intelligent bridge management system (IBS) provides traffic information, surveillance, monitoring and control systems. It comprises CCTVs, automatic traffic counters and vehicle classification system, variable message signs, remote weather information system and emergency telephones. The control centre is located near the toll plaza along with the electronic tolling controls. The control system uses fiber-optic cables running the entire span of the BWSL. The toll management system and advanced traffic management system was installed by Efkon India.

For traffic enforcement, the bridge includes facilities for vehicles to pull over when stopped by enforcement officers or in the event of a breakdown.


The bridge uses mobile explosive scanners for vehicles traveling on the sea link. Scans take less than 20 seconds for each vehicle with sensors above and below the vehicles. Over 180 cars can be scanned per hour by each scanner.

The pillars and the towers supporting the bridge are protected by buoys designed to withstand explosions and collisions. These inflated buoys surround each pillar of the sea link to avoid any damage.

The bridge tower and the control centers feature lightning protection, designed to protect the bridge monitoring, communication and power equipment from possible surges.

Power supply & lighting

The bridge has a reliable and redundant power supply, backed up by diesel generators and auto mains failure panels for critical loads, such as monitoring, surveillance, emergency equipment and communication services including aviation and obstruction indicators. BWSL exclusively uses energy saving illumination systems.


The Economic Times was critical of the Bandra–Worli Sea Link in every particular. First, the cost was not the projected 300 crore but actually cost 1,600 crore or about 430% cost overrun. Second, the project was 5 year behind schedule. Third, the supposedly reduction in commute time did not occur. Traffic bunched up at both ends of the Link causing nightmarish grid lock. The blame rest, as usual, on the notorious Indian corruption and political in-efficiencies.


Source: Wikipidea


Minal J Patel


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