Good news for Mumbai! Juhu, Oshiwara bridges to open in two weeks

Updated: Jul 05, 2019, 07:22 IST | Chetna Yerunkar | Mumbai

Positive audit report from VJTI experts means BMC will throw open roads for light vehicles by reducing overload that was caused due to years of relaying asphalt

Oshiwara: Only light vehicles and BEST buses will be allowed on the bridges. Pics/Pradeep Dhivar and Sameer Markande
Oshiwara: Only light vehicles and BEST buses will be allowed on the bridges. Pics/Pradeep Dhivar and Sameer Markande

If all goes to plan, within two weeks, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is likely to open the Juhu Tara road and Oshiwara bridges that have been shut for vehicular traffic for almost a month. BMC officials revealed this is being done after they got a positive report from the experts from VJTI on Thursday, following their load test on the bridge. However, only light vehicles and BEST buses will be allowed on the bridges.

However, the bridges are only being opened for light vehicles as BMC is aiming to reduce the overload on the bridge that has been caused due to years of road construction. BMC will also be installing height barriers on the bridges, and as part of reducing the load, there will be a reduction of about 30 to 50 centimeters of overlaying of road materials such as concrete or asphalt on these bridges.

Also Read: Mumbai: A year after Gokhale bridge collapse, WR changes bridge design to make them sturdier

Juhu Tara road
Juhu Tara road

Positive report
The move comes after VJTI experts on Thursday gave a positive report of the load test they'd carried out on the bridges, said civic officials. The report has allowed vehicular movement of light vehicles, provided BMC manages to reduce the over load on the bridges as their design life is almost over, because of which they require strengthening. These load tests are also being carried out at other closed bridges in the city and as per the experts' report, decisions on other bridges will be taken, said civic sources.

Following instructions from experts, BMC's bridge department will now ask the maintenance agencies to reduce the overload by removing excess road materials anywhere between the depth of 30 to 50 centimeters. BMC will also have to move a few utilities passing through these bridges to reduce the load and resurface the bridges to make them motorable. While BMC officials will allow BEST buses on these bridges, other heavy vehicles carrying weight of over 12 tonnes will not be allowed. And to ensure this is followed, BMC's bridges department will be installing a height gauge at these two bridges.

Oshiwara: The move comes after VJTI experts on Thursday gave a positive report of the load test they'd carried out on the bridges, said civic officials
Oshiwara: The move comes after VJTI experts on Thursday gave a positive report of the load test they'd carried out on the bridges, said civic officials

A senior civic official said, "VJTI's report was positive for allowing light vehicles on these two bridges. Within two days, an agency will be asked to carry out the work of reducing overlaying and placing height gauges. Work will start soon provided we get a dry spell. But if it continues to rain, we might end up opening the bridges after two weeks instead of within two weeks. While we will allow BEST buses, other heavy vehicles will be completely barred." Despite repeated attempts, Sanjay Darade, chief engineer of the bridges department, remained unavailable for comment.

Also Read: Buried bridge resurfaces in 'ghost town' 50 years later in Dhanushkodi

The decision to shut down unstable bridges in the city was taken after a foot overbridge collapsed near CSMT earlier this year. BMC authorities ordered a re-audit of the bridges in the eastern and western suburbs as the previous consultant's reports did not gauge the problems with the structures. The Municipal Commissioner had then passed an order to shut all dilapidated bridges before May 31, which was heavily criticized by commuters. Later, the possibility of opening up these bridges was discussed in a meeting of BMC and traffic police authorities with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

Juhu Tara Road
Juhu Tara Road

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