Going by the gaping cracks right in the middle of the Western Express Highway in Bandra Reclamation, it seems that MSRDC authorities have been negligent in their maintenance. The cracks, which have formed over the last two months, are on the road leading to the Bandra-Worli Sealink and are potentially dangerous to two-wheelers. These can also damage the very structure of the bridge on which the road passes.
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One of the cracks in the Western Express Highway developed out of poor filler material used in construction
On Friday, mid-day visited the spot and saw that the cracks on the west-bound road were around two to three centimeters wide and stretched for around 50 to 100 metres. Two-wheelers avoided the cracks, since these can cause them to skid. There were no cracks on the east-bound side.
Speaking to sunday mid-day, transport expert Jitendra Gupta said, “The cracks are in a straight line between slabs, which shows that they have developed by the poor filler which seals the gaps between slabs. The superficial material has given away. Immediate repairs need to be undertaken since they pose an accident threat to bikers.” Furthermore, if rainwater finds its way through these gaps, then the bridge will get corroded, he added.
A traffic police official, who did not wished to be named, said, “Authorities should immediately conduct an inspection to see if the bridge structure is in danger. We have seen them doing patchwork, but the cracks have only increased.” According to the experts, the gap between two slabs is due to change in temperature, which causes the slabs to contract in the cold season, and expand when it’s hot. The gaps need to be filled with elastic materials such as a rubber mixture. The material acts as a buffer, preventing the cracks.
MSRDC vice-chairman and managing director RL Mopalwar said, “I am not aware about this but tomorrow I will ask the concerned official to look into the matter and update about the same.”