Mumbai News: 28 Structures Razed To Make Way For Andheri's Gokhale Bridge Girder Assembly

Mumbai News: 28 Structures Razed To Make Way For Andheri's Gokhale Bridge Girder Assembly

Officials said 13 residential and 15 commercial structures were demolished.

FPJ News ServiceUpdated: Wednesday, September 06, 2023, 09:32 PM IST
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Gopal Krishna Gokhale Bridge | Salman Ansari

As many as 28 structures affecting the movement of a crane brought in to assemble the girder at Gopal Krishna Gokhale bridge in Andheri were finally demolished by the BMC on Wednesday. The work of launching, sliding and lowering of girders can now gain pace, civic officials said.

The steel parts of the girder arrived in Mumbai from Ambala last month. The BMC then started the assembly work and brought cranes to the site. However, a huge hoarding on railway premises and residential and commercial structures in Andheri East affected the work. As the structures couldn’t be demolished during the monsoon, the K-East ward office had to take permission from the administration.

Officials said 13 residential and 15 commercial structures were demolished. Four engineers and 15 workers took part in the action and the way was immediately cleared using JCBs. “We have requested the Western Railway for the availability of mega blocks to launch, slide and lower the girders. We want to open at least one arm of the bridge this year,” an official said.

The BMC said 30 days are needed to assemble the girder and another 15 days to launch it and push towards the north side, before lowering it. They said it’s a very specialised task and has to be executed carefully and under strict supervision of the railways. They will also need 40 days to concretise and open the bridge.

The crucial east-west connector in Andheri has been closed for pedestrian and vehicular movement since November 2022. The demolition work of the railway portion of the bridge started in December 2022, though reconstruction started in January 2023. For various reasons, the BMC has failed to keep its promise of opening one lane by May 31.

The strike at a steel plant at Rourkela in May and flooding at a workshop at Ambala further delayed the delivery of steel to Mumbai. As per the new deadline, the bridge will be partially open in the first week of December.

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