Maharashtra: Vasai’s Ambadi bridge closed, to be demolished

28 February,2024 07:35 AM IST |  Mumbai  |  Shirish Vaktania

Railways will replace 50-year-old east-west connector; residents expect spot to see traffic snarls

Barricades set up ahead of the demolition of the severely damaged structure. Pics/Hanif Patel

Key Highlights

Railway officials closed the 50-year-old Ambadi bridge in Vasai, which is said to be damaged, on Monday. The east-west connector will be demolished and reconstructed as Railways is developing two more Borivli-Virar lines, which will be beneath it. As a result, traffic congestion will increase on a newer bridge, which is located next to the old bridge.

The 736-metre-long bridge was set up by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA). However, many cracks were found in the structure, resulting in its closure, and repairs were carried out seven times. Meanwhile, in 2016, the new bridge was constructed, and the old one was eventually kept open only for light vehicles. According to traffic police officials, 20,000 to 25,000 vehicles ply both bridges daily.

Western Railway Chief PRO Sumit Thakur said, "We are developing two more railway lines from Borivli to Virar. The old bridge is also dangerous and damaged. Hence, it will be demolished, and a new bridge will be constructed at a greater height at the same location. The construction work will start soon, and the work on the new railway lines will also commence soon."

The 50-year-old Ambadi bridge in Vasai on Tuesday

Recently, Railways conducted a structural audit of the old bridge and found it incredibly dilapidated. The Vasai Virar Municipal Corporation was then informed that repairing the bridge would cost around Rs 7 crore. Consequently, the civic body decided not to repair the bridge but to demolish it and construct a new bridge at the same spot. Vasai traffic division PI Sagar Ingole said, "With the closure of the old bridge, traffic congestion will occur at the spot, and all the load will shift to the new bridge. We also plan to divert traffic from the recently constructed Naigaon bridge."

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He added, "Many roads connected to this bridge are also under construction, making it very difficult to manage traffic during peak hours. We have to hire more wardens to control traffic during these times." Vasai resident Fajju Qureshi said, "It's great that a new bridge is being developed. However, until the construction work is complete, we will have to endure heavy traffic. Civic officials are increasing the height of roads in Vasai East, and many roads are under construction, leading to traffic congestion. Previously, we used the old bridge to travel to the west, but now we have to use the new bridge, where we spend at least 15 minutes in traffic."

Resident Avinash Kushe was also happy about getting a new bridge but said, "Traffic will increase because there is no proper diversion to go from the west to the east to reach Vasai station. Previously, there were diversions on the old bridge from Vasai East, but these are now closed. Vehicles heading to Vasai West have to experience traffic congestion."

Length of the bridge

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mumbai metropolitan region development authority indian railways mumbai railways vasai borivali virar mumbai mumbai news
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