Mumbai: The decision to reopen the Andheri's derelict Gokhale bridge–shut since Nov 7–is likely to come in the next seven days as the BMC will now go through the reports of two premier technical institutes, which have allowed the infra's reopening albeit with riders. Following the BMC's request, the Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (VJTI) and the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-B) inspected the bridge and opined that it could be reopened for pedestrians and light motor vehicles (LMVs).
However, both the institutes have different views regarding the bridge's structural stability. For instance, the IIT-B suggested that the LMVs could be allowed only on the two middle lanes. Whereas, the VJTI expressed the necessity of a temporary support on the bridge before allowing vehicles.
“The IIT-B's report suggests an opening of the middle portion of the road and regular inspection of the bridge. This would be practically difficult to regulate the traffic,” said a senior civic official. If the BMC takes the VJTI's suggestion of erecting a temporary support then it will take two more weeks for its construction. Similarly, opening of two lanes will affect the work schedule of the bridge, the official added.
BMC Additional Commissioner (Projects) P Velrasu said, “Even though both the institutes have said that the bridge could be reopened temporarily, some of the clauses suggested by them differ from each other. So, we need to examine the reports' technical interpretation before coming to a final conclusion. The decision on reopening the bridge will be taken as early as possible.”