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Home > Mumbai > Mumbai News > Article > Mumbai For now only light vehicles allowed on Gokhale bridge

Mumbai: For now, only light vehicles allowed on Gokhale bridge

Updated on: 27 February,2024 06:50 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Sameer Surve | sameer.surve@mid-day.com

Civic chief promises use of entire bridge by December 31 this year

Mumbai: For now, only light vehicles allowed on Gokhale bridge

MLA Deepak Kesarkar and other politicians at the inauguration of the Gokhale bridge on Monday. Pic/Sameer Markande

Key Highlights

  1. Finally, one arm of Gokhale bridge was inaugurated on Monday evening
  2. A three-lane bridge, divided into two lanes of 1.5 lanes each, is now open to traffic
  3. Vehicles will be allowed to move along one arm from both sides

Finally, one arm of the east-west connector of Andheri’s Gopal Krishna Gokhale Bridge was inaugurated on Monday evening, as promised. A three-lane bridge, divided into two lanes of 1.5 lanes each, is now open to traffic. Vehicles will be allowed to move along one arm from both sides until the full project is completed. Currently, only light motor vehicles are permitted on the bridge. 


The Gokhale bridge is a six-lane structure linking the Western Express Highway in Andheri East to S V Road in Andheri West, with a connector to Barfiwala Road in Andheri West. This connector is currently being corrected due to a flaw that arose during construction.


Mangal Prabhat Lodha, guardian minister of Mumbai suburban, inaugurated the bridge and commended the BMC for completing the task in record time. Guardian Minister Deepak Kesarkar, MLA Ameet Satam, MLA Rutuja Latke, Civic Chief I S Chahal, and other civic officials were present during the event.


(Right) The three-lane side has been divided into 1.5 lanes each for now. Pics/Nimesh Dave(Right) The three-lane side has been divided into 1.5 lanes each for now. Pics/Nimesh Dave

Chahal stated that due to revised railway guidelines, the bridge’s height over the railway track had to be increased by two meters. As a result, the height difference between the Barfiwala connector and the Gokhale bridge has become unequal. “Experts from IIT Mumbai and VJTI Institute have been consulted on this matter. They will submit a report within 15 days,” he said. Chahal added that they are working on constructing a ramp to connect the Barfiwala connector and the Gokhale bridge. They will not demolish the Barfiwala connector, Chahal assured. The full project will be completed before December 31, 2024. Chahal claimed in his inauguration speech that the BMC created history during the construction of the bridge. “This is the heaviest girder of 1,300 metric tons first launched on a railway track. This is one of the busiest railway tracks where trains are running every 3-4 minutes. Also, BMC completed one arm of the bridge in a record 14 months after the work order was issued, and no other bridge work was completed in this record time,” said Chahal.

Test drive

After the inauguration, the mid-day team conducted a test drive on the bridge. In the east side, the connector of Teli Gully to the Gokhale bridge is ready, but its landing is partially pending. This will give access to vehicles directly from the Western Express Highway in Andheri East to S V Road in Andheri West. While landing of Gokhale bridge at Saibaba wadi Andheri E, Teli gully is pending. BMC officials claim that the landing work is underway and will be completed as soon as the major part of the bridge has been completed.

Officials claim that landing work will be completed soon. Pic/Nimish DaveOfficials claim that landing work will be completed soon. Pic/Nimish Dave

Political mudslinging during inauguration

Chahal said that MLA of Andheri West has made major contributions to this project; he conducted a number of meetings and visits, to which the Andheri East MLA Rutuja Latke of Shiv Sena UBT said, although Satam has a major share in the work, I also raised questions in the Assembly and visited the spot at least 4 times. Amit Satam later slammed UBT leader Aaditya Thackeray, without mentioning his name. “Some people are saying that the bridge is ready but the chief minister doesn’t have time for the inauguration, but in fact, it’s already decided that the guardian minister will inaugurate the bridge. Now the situation has changed; we have leaders who are working on the ground. BMC issued a work order to construct the connector in March 2020, but work started in 2021. Why was there a delay? In the last 25 years, various issues of Mumbai planning have risen, but now our government is solving these issues,” Satam added. While Guardian Minister Kesarkar said that work on the Mumbai Coastal Road, and the Mumbai Trans-Harbour project were stuck, it is only after our government was formed these projects gained momentum. Soon, the Coastal Road will also open for traffic.

 

Background

The Gokhale Bridge was closed for traffic in November 2022 after an expert panel declared it dilapidated. It reopened for traffic after 15 months of closure.

Demolition works were carried out from December 2022 to March 2023. Reconstruction efforts began on December 2, 2023, following a partial collapse of the bridge in 2018. 

Initially, BMC was tasked with building only the connector of the bridge within the BMC limit, while the railway authority was responsible for the bridge over the railway track. Later, the full project was handed over to the BMC in 2022.

A part of the bridge collapsed in 2018. After two years, in 2020, BMC issued a work order to construct an approach way to the bridge. According to the BMC document, the work on the approach road was supposed to be completed in two years until April 2022. However, the reconstruction project faced delays due to the pandemic and technical challenges.

The bridge was not thrown open to the public till the time of going to press because of the inauguration stage that was set up on the bridge.

14
Time in months it took to complete the bridge work 

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