The new Hancock Bridge will not be ready before 2018. The contract to rebuild it was given to M/s Jaykumar Infrastructure in May. But after a High Court ruling on Tuesday cancelled the contract, the BMC will have to start the procedure all over again. Even if work orders are issued by December, work will not be completed before the second half of 2018.

Hancock Bridge restricted the speed of trains as new trains had extra height. The bridge was demolished by the Railways in January in order to improve the speed of local trains.

mid-day had reported in February that tenders for the reconstruction of this bridge had been called. The initial period of construction was 15 months, excluding the monsoon. M/s Jaykumar Infraprojects Pvt Ltd was given the contract of rebuilding the bridge in May.

BMC had filed an FIR against six companies in a separate case of road irregularities. Despite this, the contract for Hancock bridge and three others was allotted to two of the six (Jaykumar and RPS Infraprojects) citing pending suspension. The move was challenged through a PIL wherein the HC struck down these four contracts.

“Unless the companies challenge the decision in SC and the court brings about a stay on the matter, we will have to invite fresh tenders,” said S O Kori, chief engineer (bridges).

Additional municipal commissioner Sanjay Deshmukh (in-charge of bridges) said, “We will try to start the work in October or November as we hope that the work will be completed in 2018 at least.”