Mumbai News: Gokhale Bridge Arm Likely To Miss Fifth Deadline

Mumbai News: Gokhale Bridge Arm Likely To Miss Fifth Deadline

However, considering the current speed of work, the fifth BMC is likely to miss the fifth deadline for opening the bridge, fears the local residents.

SHEFALI PARAB-PANDITUpdated: Monday, January 08, 2024, 10:32 PM IST
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Gokhale Bridge | File pic

Mumbai: The BMC is all set to open the sound bound arm - Worli to Marine Drive of the Mumbai Coastal road project by next month. Similarly, one arm of Gopal Krishna Gokhale Bridge, the crucial east -west connector in Andheri, is said to be opened by February 15, 2024. However, considering the current speed of work, the fifth BMC is likely to miss the fifth deadline for opening the bridge, fears the local residents.

The 90-m first open web girder (OWG) of the Bridge was launched on December 3. After which the process of erecting, sliding and lowering was underway. Zoru Bhathena, an activist said, "The lowering of the girder will take another 15 days. After that, the construction of the carriageway will take more than a month. A road test will also need to be taken to ensure the safety of the vehicular movement. With the current speed of the work at the site, we don't think that the BMC can keep its promise even this time."

When will the Bridge open for the public?

Dhaval Shah, a member of the Lokhandwala Oshiwara Residents Association said, "The BMC is not able to complete the work of lowering the girder yet, which will take another week. The other remaining work will not be possible to complete by February 15. Even the civic officials are not replying to us. We think it might take another year to open the entire bridge." Citing that the opening of the Gopal Krishna Gokhale bridge has been delayed several times, fuming residents had written a letter in November 2022, to the Chief Minister Eknath Shinde for his intervention to ensure timely completion of the bridge construction. The civic official on the condition of anonymity said, "It will be difficult to complete the work and open one side by next month."

BMC sets May 2024 as deadline for opening bridge

The BMC has assured to open the entire bridge by May 2024. The Gokhale Bridge was shut to the public in November 2022, after it was declared unsafe. The demolition work of the railway portion of the bridge started a month later. Though the reconstruction work began in January 2023, the BMC failed to keep its promise of opening one lane by May 31 last year. The strike at a steel plant at Rourkela in May and flooding at an Ambala workshop further delayed the delivery of steel to Mumbai. The deadline was further extended to September and thereafter Diwali and December 2023.

The open web girder, which is a fabricated structure, was also constructed in Ambala and then transported to Mumbai. The estimated project cost is ₹90 crore.

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