After a goods trailer collided with a foot over bridge at Vashi Octroi Naka in the wee hours of Wednesday, the bridge was dismantled yesterday as it had suffered serious damage. The Public Works Department said it would take a month to repair and get the bridge up and running.
According to traffic cops, the FOB has very minimal pedestrian movement. Pic/Shadab Khan
Also, the officials added that pedestrians rarely ever use the bridge, which was constructed at a cost of R1.5 crore, as residential areas are two kilometers away.
On March 30, a multi-axle trailer carrying goods, which weighed around 30 tonnes, was on Yashwantrao Chavan Highway and was going towards Panvel Lane. Fire officials said the trailer driver lost control of the vehicle and it dashed against the FoB. One worker was injured in the incident.
Since the damaged FoB posed a danger for commuters, the PWD officials dismantled half of it yesterday morning at 7am. The FoB, that is 30 feet long with a height of around 10 feet and at a 5.5 metre height from the road, was constructed to ensure the safety of the pedestrians on the 23-km-long Sion-Panvel highway.
RT Patil, superintendent engineer, Public Work Department, confirmed that the FOB was damaged during the accident. “The supporting angles of the FoB, were the most damaged after the trailer dashed into it recently. We dismantled the part towards the Sion-Panvel highway. We will now repair the FoB and then replace it in the same position, which will be used for the pedestrians in the future,” said Patil.
The bridge was built taking into account the height of the heavy vehicles that usually ply on the road. “The bridge was built some two years ago on a height of 5.5 meters that is around 16.5 foot from the road. But the object the trailer was carrying was huge and damaged the bridge,” added Patil.
When mid-day visited the spot, Octroi officials claimed that the FoB was a waste of money. “Most pedestrian bridges are built on those highways, where residential area is nearby, to make it easy for pedestrians to cross. But this one has no residential area till two kilometers on both sides. I rarely see anyone using the bridge as most of the time the highway is surrounded by heavy vehicles that wait to pay Octroi and leave the place,” said an Octroi official.
A traffic police constable, stationed at the junction, seconded this claim. “I think the authorities would have planned and built the bridge keeping in mind the status of 2020. But at present if we see the status it’s a waste of money. The signal below the FoB is for 15 seconds and motorists rarely follow the traffic rules. In such cases, the bridge is very important, but is rarely used,” said the traffic officer.