Mumbai: Bridge on Vasai creek to retire, but heritage will live on
Railway officials said the bridge was abandoned in 1983 and was auctioned for metal scrap in February this year
The original railway bridge built over the Vasai creek in the 1860s connecting the old Bombay Baroda and Central India (BB&CI) Railway (Western Railway) with Mumbai, is being pulled down after years of service. However, WR officials said they would keep its heritage alive.
A senior official said, "We will examine whether the builders' plates (seals on the bridge) can be retrieved so that they can be displayed at the Churchgate heritage gallery." The WR started off with the construction of a 29-mile rail line between Ankleshwar and Utran in Gujarat, which was extended to Mumbai in 1864.
Officials said the bridge between Bhayander and Naigaon was abandoned in 1983 and was auctioned for metal scrap in February this year. However, due to the lockdown and then monsoon, the dismantling work got delayed. It started on November 5 and is expected to be completed by January 26, 2021.
"Building a bridge across Vasai creek was a challenging task because it is tidal in nature. The first bridge was opened for traffic in 1864," mentions the late former WR General Manager Anoop Krishna Jhingron in his book – Western Railway Heritage – Traditions & Legend.
He further states, "In course of time, both the girders and the foundation became weak and despite strengthening the bridge, it became necessary to replace it. Therefore, in 1927, at a distance of 120-feet from the old bridge, a new one was built across the creek. However, with increasing traffic even this bridge was later found to be inadequate and in 1990 another bridge was constructed."
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