Carnac Bunder Bridge: Reconstruction Deadline Pushed To Next Year; Traffic Chaos Continues At Adjoining Routes

Carnac Bunder Bridge: Reconstruction Deadline Pushed To Next Year; Traffic Chaos Continues At Adjoining Routes

Like a domino effect, congestion at CSMT Road can create bottlenecks at the Crawford Market, Kalbadevi and even JJ Flyover, considering all this, the Carnac's opening becomes a priority, cops said.

Aishwarya Iyer SHEFALI PARAB-PANDITUpdated: Monday, July 01, 2024, 12:42 AM IST
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Carnac Bunder Bridge: Reconstruction Deadline Pushed To Next Year; Traffic Chaos Continues At Adjoining Routes | - Salman Ansari

After once again missing the June deadline of reconstructing the 150-year-old Carnac Bunder bridge, the BMC officials said that the project will now see light of the day in 2025. Demolished in 2022, the bridge was set to be rebuilt in a 19-month span, however, encroachment on both sides of the road impeded the work, said the officials. While the civic body continues to defer the deadline, the ones bearing the brunt are the motorists and locals.

According to authorities, heavy encroachments, including unauthorised centres, a temple, a gym and even huts on the sides of the bridge, are coming in the way of the project. In March, girders reportedly arrived at the site. It seemed that the new bridge – 70 metres long and 26.5 metres wide – will be thrown open in June. Even in the worst case scenario, it was expected that if not both lanes, at least one of them will start functioning. However, all the hopes have now been dashed. “Currently, the focus is on clearing the encroachment. Only then the work will proceed in full swing,” the officials said. It's the job of A and B ward authorities to clear the illegal structures.

The Carnac closure has upended the city's traffic flow. Only its reopening can improve the situation on the SoBo routes, said the traffic cops. The Carnac's inaccessibility has impacted the traffic on its adjoining routes like P D’Mello Road, which connects SoBo and the eastern suburbs via the Eastern Freeway and the newly-opened Mumbai Trans Harbour Link that links Navi Mumbai.

Other routes to be hit are Mohammad Ali Road, CSMT Junction Road, SVP Road, Wadi Bunder Junction and Crawford Market Road. Most of them are narrow, with encroachment on both sides and the traffic woes exacerbate as they currently serve as the Carnac detours. These routes have to carry 150% more than their original capacities, especially during peak hours, explained traffic cops. Specifically mentioning the “important” CSMT Junction Road, they said it has to remain traffic-free. “Lakhs of people (pedestrians), motorists, and rail commuters travel every day from CSMT Road. Hence, a jam can trigger lots of commotion. Therefore, this road has to remain traffic-free at all costs,” said a traffic official.

Like a domino effect, congestion at CSMT Road can create bottlenecks at the Crawford Market, Kalbadevi and even JJ Flyover. Considering all this, the Carnac's opening becomes a priority, cops said. They have come up with several methods to decongest the roads, but the only way to do it is “reopening Carnac as early as possible”. It will free most of the narrow routes, major signals and the traffic will go back to its usual capacity, an official added.

Gokhale bridge

Demolished in 2022; southbound arm likely to open in November

Hancock bridge

Demolished in 2016; 2 lanes reopened in 2022; fate of other 2 lanes uncertain

Bellasis bridge, Sion ROB

All set to be demolished, dates not finalised yet 

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