'Howrah Bridge' coming soon to Andheri

Feb 06, 2012, 07:38 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav

MMRDA sources say a steel bridge being built for the Metro rail's VAG corridor will be a look-alike of the iconic structure

MMRDA sources say a steel bridge being built for the Metro rail's VAG corridor will be a look-alike of the iconic structure

It was renamed Rabindra Setu way back in 1965. But most Kolkatans have always referred to the 705-metre-long cantilever structure over the Hooghly as Howrah Bridge. Now, it's coming to Mumbai. Or rather, a 183-metre steel bridge - modelled on the iconic structure - is being constructed over the railway track in Andheri as part of the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar (VAG) Metro rail corridor.

Bridging the gap: Work in progress at the steel bridge at Andheri.
Pic/Mahesh Chafe

Speaking to MiD DAY, a Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) official, requesting anonymity said, "Great progress is being witnessed as far as the 11.4-km VAG Metro corridor is concerned. The railways have accorded all permissions and also the much-needed mega blocks for the construction of the steel bridge that will take the metro from the western to the eastern side.

Two of the four critical pillars, which will shoulder the bridge, are fully ready and the remaining two are at advanced stages of construction. The structure that will pass over the railway tracks will be a look-alike of the famous Howrah Bridge."

True as steel
The assembling work of the steel bridge structure has already started and is in progress at Andheri (East). The project will cost about Rs 35 crore.

The contract for constructing this state-of-the-art bridge was bagged by Braithwaite Burn & Jessop Construction Company (BBJ), Kolkata, a public sector undertaking (PSU) specialising in construction of rail and river bridges. Interestingly, BBJ was the company that did the fabrication for the Howrah Bridge. 

"Designing a steel bridge passing over railway tracks is a formidable task. The contract for the same was awarded to BBJ as they are well known for designing steel rail bridges," said the MMRDA official.

The manufacturing of the upcoming steel bridge was done at BBJ's Heavy Plant Yard (HPY) located in Kolkata. It has been designed in such a way that it will be dismantled during transportation and reassembled at the site when all four columns of the bridge are ready.

Change of plans
It is also reported that earlier MMDRA had sought permission for constructing the bridge, but due to design issues, the authorisation was not granted. Previously, the bridge was to be a concrete structure. But due to changes in plans, it was modified to a steel structure.

MMRDA officials also said that the work on the assembly will be complete in a month's time and by April-end the bridge will be in place over the railway tracks.

On the other hand, work on the cable-stayed bridge coming up over the Jog Flyover on the Western Express Highway is also on in full swing.

According to MMRDA officials, the process of erecting the overhead electrification system on viaduct has crossed the halfway mark, construction of the station is progressing on war footing and three ultramodern trains have already arrived in the city.

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