If everything works out smoothly then the city’s last and costliest skywalk, at Grant Road, will finally be thrown open for public use on January 26, 2013.
Though the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) initiated the project way back in 2008, one roadblock after another prevented its completion. The majority of work revolved near the important junction at Nana Chowk, which is always abuzz with traffic.
The Rs 50.4 crore structure will have a 510-metre-long walkway and will be supported by 16 stress cables suspended from a central tower located at Nana Chowk. Besides, four escalators and fancy LED lights will add to the structures utility and attraction. The original cost of the project was pegged at Rs 38.96 crore during its launch in 2008.
Ever since the construction commenced, the locals, the traffic police officials and civic authorities had been complaining about the various problems they faced during the structure’s construction. Sources in the MSRDC said the work on the final phase would be completed soon, as they received necessary permission from the traffic department.
MSRDC Chief Engineer S Nage said, “We are expecting to throw open this skywalk for public use from January 26, 2013.”
It’s been a long time since the road at Nana Chowk was dug to complete the pending work on the roof and connecting the structure with a circular part for the walkway that will remain suspended using the cables.
Though the MSRDC officials are upbeat about completing the work, locals feel the narrow lanes around Nana Chowk makes the skywalk redundant.
“The barricaded portions and incomplete work on pillars makes driving difficult. There seems to be no use of this skywalk,” said P Velankar, a local restaurant owner, who travels on motorcycle everyday. He added that at night, the road is blocked for safety purposes because of the welding work carried out on the skywalk.
The MSRDC officials claimed that once complete, the skywalk would be an iconic structure and all the qualms of people will vanish.