136-years-old British-era Hancock Bridge to be demolished

The 136-years-old Hancock Bridge, one of the city's oldest bridges from the British era, is all set to be demolished.

The Central Railway (CR) with the help of traffic police and the city municipal authorities, will start the task of dismantling the road over-bridge, near Sandhurst Road railway station, which currently connects Mazgaon and Umerkhadi, from November 18.

Currently, due to the height of the bridge, trains run at a restricted speed under the bridge. But once this old structure is pulled down and a new bridge is constructed in its place, the speed of local trains will increase, railway officials said.

"Hancock road over bridge between Sandhurst Road and Byculla stations will remain closed for road and pedestrian traffic with effect from November 18 in view of work being undertaken for dismantling of the bridge," a CR statement said.

"A broader and higher bridge, which will enable the CR to convert from DC to AC, will be built in its place. It will also widen and strengthen the east-west links, as this bridge has grown old, weak and creating hurdles for the suburban trains to exceed a particular speed," a senior railway official said.

With the fixing of the date of the bridge demolition, the long stand-off between Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and CR has also come to an end.

"After several rounds of discussions, now every issue has been sorted out," the official said, adding that as per the plan, traffic will be diverted on SVP Road and GPO Road.

"Our officers have finalised the date after following due course of meeting and planning with BMC and traffic police officials. All the alternate arrangements have also been chalked out," said senior PRO of Central Railway A K Jain.

Built in 1879 and rebuilt in 1923, Hancock Bridge was named after Colonel H F Hancock, who served as the chairman of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) during 1877-78.

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