While a concrete portion from one of the girders of Eastern Freeway fell away before it was even inaugurated, officials from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) claim the freeway is steady and stable. Officials also claimed that the damage to the girder took place while it was being transported from the casting yard to the construction site.
On Friday, MiD DAY published a photograph showing a patch where the concrete portion from the underside of the bridge had collapsed, hours before its inauguration by the chief minister on Thursday. Asked if there was a danger to the elevated portion, MMRDA Joint Project Director Dilip Kawatkar said, “We have checked everything and there is no danger to the bridge because of the same. We have already instructed the contractor to look into the issue and it will be repaired soon.”
Sources from MMRDA told this newspaper that the concrete caved in while the girder was being transported. “We have already checked the bridge; the structure is perfect for transportation of vehicles. At times, when the girders are transported from casting yard to site, their edges are damaged but this damage is not dangerous. After doing the patchwork, the girders can be used.”
The 13.59-km long freeway was thrown open to vehicular traffic around 11.30 am on Friday. MMRDA also claimed that the freeway couldn’t be opened for traffic immediately after the inauguration on Thursday, as the MMRDA required two cranes, 100 workers and 17 rainy hours to remove the rainproof pandal erected for the opening ceremony. The elevated corridor will enable motorists to reach Chembur from CST in 25 minutes.