Five long years in the works, the Delisle Road bridge was to open this summer, but first railway-BMC bridge project deadline has been pushed back yet again
The first two girders of Delisle Road bridge were installed at Lower Parel in September. Pic/Shadab Khan
The deadline for the completion of Delisle bridge in Lower Parel has been pushed back once again. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) planned to open it by April, but as per the new deadline, it will open only after the monsoon. Civic officials now say it will be completed by October. This was the first joint project for a bridge between Western Railway and BMC.
The bridge was closed overnight in August 2018 for traffic after the IIT - Bombay submitted a structural stability report for it. The audit was done after an FOB at Gokhale bridge at Andheri collapsed on the railway tracks. Just as the chaos caused after the closure of Gokhale bridge three months back, there was chaos five years ago after the decision to demolish Delisle bridge. Motorists and pedestrians have been inconvenienced since then.
The assembling work for the first girder of the Delisle Road bridge. File pic/Ashish Raje
Civic officials had earlier said the bridge will be completed by April, if the railways handed over the approach road of N M Joshi Marg by October 1, 2022. The WR has done so, however, still the deadline has been pushed to October 2023. The speech of civic chief Iqbal Singh Chahal on BMC budget estimated for 2023-24 stated that the work is 60% complete and the scheduled completion date of the bridge is in October 2023.
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Shared work load
The work of Delisle bridge was divided into two parts. The part on the railway line is being constructed by Western Railway while construction of three approaches — north and south parts N M Joshi Marg and one arm of Ganpatrao Kadam Road — will be constructed by the BMC. The WR awarded the contract for rebuilding the railway portion at a cost of Rs 87 crore. The estimated cost of reconstruction of approaches was Rs 138 crore.
The BMC, in its internal report of August 2022, mentioned that the reason for delay was the delay in launching of girders by Western Railway and the expected date of completion was March 31, 2023 subject to handing over the approach of NM Joshi Marg by Western railway.
The solid ramp of G K Road and north part of N M Joshi Marg have been completed. The Railway demolished and reconstructed part of the bridge on the tracks. The first part of the bridge was completed in June 2022 and the second girder launched in the last week of September 2022. The railway handed over the eastern side of approach of the bridge to the BMC on October 4. It had been retained by Western Railway for launching girders.
The BMC completed work on two approaches before October 2022 and the work on the approach started four months ago. The work on other parts joining railway girders and asphalting on the bridge is on.
The long pending Teli Galli bridge on the east side of Andheri which will connect Gokhale bridge to the highway has also been completed and it will be ready by March to open for traffic. The construction of the bridge started in 2019 to reduce traffic at two narrow junctions – Hotel Regency and Teli Galli. The work was expected to be completed in 24 months. Now the work is 95 per cent completed, as per the civic chief's speech in the budget. “Only the work of the sewer line remains, it will be completed soon,” said a BMC official.
Month in 2018 the bridge was shut for traffic