The long-awaited Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) project has reached final bidding stage, according to officials.

A total of 31 companies, including Larsen & Toubro and China Railway Construction Bridge Engineering Bureau Group, have been asked to submit proposals for the construction of what will be the longest sea bridge in India.

While the total length of the bridge project is 22 km, 16.5 km of the span will be over sea.

In 2004, when the first plans for the bridge were drawn up, the total estimated cost was set at Rs4,500 crore (US$660 million); the current estimate is for a total cost of around Rs17,750 crore (US$2.6 billion).

Approximately 80% of the project will receive its funding from Japan International Cooperation Agency, with the remainder coming from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA).

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