But, locals and pedestrians unhappy that there is no walking space yet, as the footpaths have been planned on the outside of girders and will take more time
Vehicles and pedestrians on the partially open Delisle Road bridge, on Thursday. Pic/Shadab Khan
One arm of the Delisle Road bridge in Lower Parel—which was being built for nearly five years—was finally opened to traffic on Thursday. Another arm, towards Currey Road, will be opened by the end of July. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), however, is yet to start building footpaths for pedestrians on the bridge.
After overshooting three deadlines, the arm of the bridge from Senapati Bapat Marg junction to Ganpatrao Kadam Marg towards Parel is now open. Pedestrians, however, are not happy as there are no footpaths on the structure yet. Many motorists also termed the opening of the arm pointless.
An automobile on the partially opened Delisle Road bridge on Thursday. Pic/Shadab Khan
“The construction of the ramp, the concretisation of approaches to the bridge and streetlight-related work is pending,” said a BMC official. Another civic official said, “The footpath is being constructed outside the girder. The BMC is going to construct four staircases and erect two escalators. This work will be completed soon.”
The bridge was closed to traffic overnight in August 2018, following a structural stability report submitted by the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. Actual work on the bridge, which is being carried out by the civic body and Western Railway (WR), started only last year though the first deadline was May 2022.
WR was awarded the contract for rebuilding the railway portion of the structure for R87 crore. The estimated cost of reconstruction of approaches was R138 crore, and 78 per cent of the bridge work is said to be completed.
Sena (UBT), locals unhappy
Shiv Sena (UBT) MLC Sunil Shinde claimed the newly opened arm of the bridge will be of no use until the entire bridge is complete. “As both ends of this arm connect to Senapati Bapat Marg at Lower Parel and Parel, why will motorists use it? Also, our demand is that BMC should build a footpath on the entire bridge. Currently, it has been proposed only for the railway portion,” he claimed.
A local resident Shankar Ringe said, “I don’t know why BMC has opened this section of the bridge, which is no use. This bridge is useful when travelling from Bharat Ratna Babasaheb Ambedkar Road [in Currey Road East] to Lower Parel. But it is incomplete, so it is useless for now.” Prabhakar Jadhav, a motorist, stated, “The BMC should open the other part of the bridge for traffic soon as it is far more useful than this section.”
Year actual work began on the bridge