The long-standing problem of traffic congestion while crossing Vasai Creek on the Mumbai-Surat highway has finally been resolved with the opening of a new creek bridge for vehicular traffic. The announcement was made by Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, who shared the news on a micro-blogging site. According to Gadkari, the recently constructed 918 meter balanced cantilever bridge on Varsova Creek consisting of four lanes will provide significant relief to the Mumbai-Surat corridor, particularly across the Varsova Creek. The total length of the bridge is 2.25 km, including the bridge span of 918 meters and a 1.33 km approach road.
The importance of a smooth connection between Mumbai and the rest of the country cannot be overstated, especially given that Mumbai is an island metropolis and Vasai Creek is one of the water bodies that must be crossed for uninterrupted economic activity. However, the trouble with crossing the creek began a decade ago, in December 2013, when cracks were detected on the girder of the old bridge. As a result, a section of the bridge was closed to traffic, and the one that remained open was only accessible to light vehicles. It was reopened in mid-2014, but a maximum load of 15 tonnes was imposed on the bridge. Any vehicle weighing more than this limit had to take a detour via Kaman-Kharbao-Bhiwandi.
Traffic snarls became a major issue for motorists ever since, and it took up to 90 minutes to cross the Fountain Inn Junction in either direction, be it Mumbai, Surat, Thane, or Ghodbunder Village. As this traffic intersection is part of the Mumbai-Surat National Highway, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) took up the challenge of constructing a new four-lane creek bridge. The foundation stone for the project was laid in January 2018, with an estimated cost of ₹247 crore.