Motorists driving on the Western Express Highway (WEH) can now breathe a sigh of relief. The public works department (PWD) is planning to start the work of installing traffic barriers.
At many places, the safety railings on the Western Express Highway have gone missing. File pic
For more than three years, drivers have been running a risk of fatal accidents, especially in areas where the highway is on a higher level than the service road and the barriers have either been robbed or are missing.
WEH is an arterial road connecting Bandra and Dahisar that many people use on a daily basis to commute between home and work. Without traffic barriers, in case of an accident, the vehicle might fall off the highway, on the service road that is 15-20 feet below, making the accident more calamitous.
One such stretch with missing barriers is near the Andheri pump house underpass. While there are a few barriers next to the road, towards Jogeshwari the railings are missing.
On October 2010, mid-day had reported how barriers on highways have been robbed (‘It is skid and then freefall’). In the same year, the traffic department had written several letters to the PWD, asking them to repair the same, but no action was taken.
PWD had made a provision of R15 crore in the 2013-14 budget for repairing and maintaining of WEH. The work order was issued on August 16, 2013 and the deadline for completing it is August 16, 2014.
The resurfacing and black topping of WEH has already been completed, and repair of service road is ongoing. Along with barriers, PWD is also planning to install signage and reflectors, and refurbish footpaths and dividers of flyovers.
We have started repairing the WEH and will be installing the crash barriers wherever they have been damaged or gone missing. - B B Lohar, executive engineer, PWD
Between 2005 and 2008, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) carried out the road widening work of WEH and installed railings on the highway.