The Bandra Cable-Stay Bridge is part of the Bandra Worli Sea Link (BWSL) project, which is an integrated highway and bridge project that will link Bandra and the western suburbs of Mumbai with Worli and central Mumbai. BWSL was officially named as Rajiv Gandhi Sea Link in July 2009. The bridge has an average traffic of 37,500 vehicles per day.

The project is one of the most complicated civil engineering projects in India and will form the first phase of the proposed West Island Freeway system. On 27 May 2008 a major milestone was achieved in the project when the cable-stayed bridge was connected to the approach spans to give a completed link. The construction of the bridge, delayed due to payment disputes and fishermen protests, was completed in April 2009 with allied works completed by 31 May 2009. The bridge was completed and opened to public on 30 June 2009.

The INR16.3bn bridge was built by HCC (Hindustan Construction Company) and the China Harbour Engineering Corporation for the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC).

The traffic wishing to cross the Bandra Channel had to use the Mahim causeway linking Mahim to Mumbai, a journey of only 8km that took over an hour during the rush hour (often carrying over 140,000 vehicles a day). In contrast, the new BWSL shortens the journey to 4.7km, offer more capacity and shorten the travel time to only six minutes.

Bandra project design

The BWSL is an eight-lane highway (two, four-lane roads) over a cable-stayed bridge with pre-stressed concrete viaduct approaches (and two dedicated bus lanes). The bridge structure and surrounding infrastructure consists of:

  • A 449m-long embankment with 16-lane toll plaza on the Bandra side
  • A 800m-long precast segmental approach bridge on the Bandra side
  • A 600m-long cable-stayed bridge with 125m-high towers (cable-stay system has 2,250km of high-strength galvanised steel wires which support the 20,000t structure)
  • A 200m-long precast segmental bridge between the cable-stayed bridges
  • A 350m-long cable-stayed bridge with tower heights of 54.779m and 52.829m on the Worli side
  • A 811m-long link bridge to Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (KAGK) Road at the Worli Sea Face end
“The BWSL is being developed as an ‘intelligent bridge’ with state-of-the-art system monitoring, surveillance, information signage and emergency support.”

The access across the sea link is controlled on the Worli side by a toll plaza on the Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan Road, and on the Bandra side by a toll plaza at Love Grove Junction.

The original design was changed to include two separate towers for the main cable-stay bridge.

Also the bridge was realigned around 150m into the sea and an additional cable stay bridge was introduced at the Worli end.

Increasing the height of the bridge accommodates the demands of local fishermen of Worli Koliwada to aid the movement of their boats under the bridge.

The BWSL is being developed as an ‘intelligent bridge’ with state-of-the-art system monitoring, surveillance, information signage and emergency support.

Bandra cable-stay bridge construction

Construction of the 126m high, 4.7km bridge weighing 670,000 tons involved a total of 424 cables for main roadway, about 37,680km of steel wire, 230,000m3 of concrete and about 135 pile caps. The project employed about 4,000 workers and 150 engineers during peak construction.

The construction of the BWSL was awarded in five packages.

Package I: construction of the flyover over Love Grove junction at Worli (opened in March 2002) – consultants: M/s Sverdrup Asia Ltd, M/s Shrikhande Consultants Pvt Ltd, M/s C. Felice & Company, M/s KPMG India Pvt Ltd and M/s TPG (India) – construction: M/s Vichare & Co JV M/s JMC Projects Pvt Ltd.

Package II: construction of cloverleaf interchange at Mahim intersection (opened in February 2003) – consultants: M/s Sverdrup Asia Ltd, M/s Shrikhande Consultants Pvt Ltd, KPMG (India), TPG (India) – construction: M/s Uttar Pradesh State Bridge Corp.

Package III: construction of solid approach road from the Mahim intersection up to the start of the toll plaza on the Bandra side and a public promenade (opened in February 2003) – consultants: M/s Sverdrup Asia Ltd, KPMG (India), TPG (India), C. Felice and Co – construction: Prakash Construction and Engineering Ltd.

Package IV: construction of cable-stayed bridges together with viaduct approaches extending from Worli up to the toll plaza, intelligent bridge system (IBS). HCC has a five-year liability period for maintenance of the bridge. The south bound carriageway was commissioned in July 2009 and remaining works are in progress.

Package V: improvement to KAGK Road, which is in progress.

Special construction methods for the Bandra cable-stay bridge

“The project employed about 4,000 workers and 150 engineers during peak construction.”

In December 2006 when work on the BWSL was progressing and the Asian Hercules (weighing 5,600t and owned by and hired from Asian Lift), the world’s largest floating shear leg crane was used to lift a 1,260t 110m-long launching truss into place on the Worli side of the bridge.

Two launching trusses (one on each end) were used to lift the precast concrete segments of the bridge deck into place. Each launching truss could lift 15 x 130t segments into place at once and were then crawled across the sea bed to fit segments on the next pillar.

Bridge contractors

The design of the bridge was by Dar Al-Handasah Consultants and the Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. The geotechnical engineering was carried out by Lachel Felice & Associates Inc. The main contractors were Hindustan Construction Company and their foreign partner China Harbour Engineering Corporation.

The expansion joints were supplied by Mageba SA, the launching of pre-cast segments was carried out by Freight Wings Pvt Ltd and the stay cables were sourced from Shanghai Pujyang Cable Company. M/s Dar Consultants were asked to design, proof check and supervise the various aspects of the project.