Gokhale bridge. File pic/Anurag Ahire
The girder of Gokhale bridge, Andheri's crucial east-west connector, will be launched on Saturday night. The BMC is also in the final stage of pushing the beam, which weighs 1,300 metric tonnes, from the east to the west side of the railway tracks. It will eventually be moved north and then lowered over the next two weeks. The civic body will take two to three more months to construct the road on the bridge. The bridge has been closed since November 2022 and the deadline for its completion has been pushed several times.
The BMC planned the launching of the girder on the night of December 2. The formation of the beam at the project site has been completed. "The girder will be moved towards the west side through huge machinery. The distance is about 100 metres and we expect to complete the job within one or two nights. The work has to be done with extreme care as the weight and size of the girder are high," said an official. He added that the girder will be shifted about 13.5 metres to the north and then lowered by about 7.5 metres in the next two weeks. Only then will the road work start.
WR will operate a block for the launching of the girder only for three hours. The work of lowering the bridge will be carried out on subsequent nights. The BMC is planning to open the bridge partially by February 2024, though the initial deadline for building the bridge was May 2023. WR began demolishing the structure in December 2022 and took four months to complete the work. Dhaval Shah, founder of Andheri Lokhandwala Oshiwara Citizens Association, said, "We have been counting the deadlines from May 2023 to February 2024. We hope it will not be pushed further."