Commuters stuck in 4-km WEH jam as Kalanagar flyover repairs are conducted during peak hour. PWD’s logic: We wanted to wrap up by Monday, 6 am, in time for rush hour
Taking the Western Express Highway's (WEH) usual traffic jams up a notch was yesterday's 4-km long gridlock, which stretched from the Kalanagar junction to Andheri. The snarl was because of the repair work started by the Public Works Department (PWD) on the Kalanagar stretch of the Prabodhankar Thackeray flyover.
There was bumper-to-bumper traffic due to ongoing repairs of the six expansion joints on the southbound carriageway of the Prabodhankar Thackeray flyover. Pics/Prabhanjan Dhanu
PWD is repairing the six expansion joints of the southbound carriageway. It started the work at 12 pm yesterday, and the work will go on till 6 am on Monday. Within an hour after the repairing work started, the traffic on the south-bound stretch of WEH was thrown out of gear between Bandra and Andheri with more than 4-km long traffic jam, which continued well into the night.
CausePWD is repairing six expansion joints of the southbound carriageway of the Kalanagar flyover
There was bumper-to-bumper traffic despite the deployment of additional police constables from the traffic department at the location. The traffic department had even diverted the traffic via the opposite lane of the flyover and even via the service road to reduce congestion but this was not successful in helping the problem either.
EffectThe traffic jam on the WEH started in the afternoon and lasted well into the night
Speaking to mid-day PWD Engineer SS Deshmukh said, "The six expansion joints of the south-bound carriageway of the flyover were damaged and required repair. So, we started the work of repairing the same at 12 pm on Friday and the work will go on till 6 am on Monday. We are sorry for the inconvenience caused to the motorists, but the repairing work was also important and we did not want motorists to face inconvenience on Monday. The repairing work has been planned accordingly, so that it gets completed by Monday morning."
The motorists and commuters stuck in the snarl criticised the PWD's decision to start the repair work in the afternoon. They felt it should have started in the night instead. "We started the work in the afternoon because we have to repair six expansion joints by 6 am on Monday. Had we started the work in the night, we wouldn't have been able to complete it before noon on Monday," said a PWD official.
The angry motorists and commuters even took to the social networking sites to pan the authorities for starting the work in the afternoon. However, authorities are saying they had even installed a banner on the highway two days ago about the repairs with the help of the traffic department.
A traffic official said that the NOC to start the work in the day was given because the repairing work was urgently required. Due to the jam, motorists going to south Mumbai from the western suburbs were seen using the link road and SV Road up to Bandra. Because of this, the traffic on those roads was moving slowly as well.
Traffic police says
Senior Police Inspector Siddharth Shinde from BKC Traffic Division said, "The south-bound area of the Prabodhankar Thakare Kalanagar flyover bridge shall remain closed for all types of vehicles going towards due to urgent maintenance work being carried out by PWD upto 6 am on Monday. We know that motorists are facing a problem and so we request all car owners and drivers to use the diversion route."
There was a two-hour traffic crawl on the highway from the time I entered WEH at Dahisar to reach Bandra. It was a real dampener to kickstarting my weekend.
Sooraj Bakshi, Hotelier
It normally takes me less than 10 minutes to reach Bandra West from Sion. Today, it took me half an hour to reach the highway, which is three signals away.
Mohammed Intezaar, Bus driver
I was supposed to go to the international airport to pick up a passenger. I am already late by over an hour and still have to cover a substantial distance.
Mahadev Warang, Businessman
The traffic was one of the worst I have seen in a long time. It took me 45 minutes to cross the BKC signal from Sion.