Mumbai: After the BMC decided against reopening the Gopal Krishna Gokhale bridge in Andheri, it has instructed the contractors constructing the approaches of the bridge to start demolishing the western side approaches so that the new bridge can be constructed within time. The civic body has decided not to reopen the bridge temporarily for pedestrians and light motor vehicles (LMVs) till the reconstruction work is completed.
The civic officials of Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (VJTI) and the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-B) have suggested reopening the bridge after carrying out several repair works. But after assessing the report of both the technical institutes and the audit report of the consultancy firm, the civic team has found the bridge unsafe to reopen for all kinds of traffic as the issue involves the safety of the commuters.
"The non-destructive tests (NDT) which provide results on the strength and real properties of the concrete structure showed poor results in 2019. If the same tests are conducted today, the results would be worse and not satisfactory for opening the bridge," said the report.
After the overhanging part of the bridge collapsed in July 2018, the BMC appointed M/s CV Kand to carry out a structural audit of the bridge. The consultant carried out the NDT test and concluded to demolish and reconstruct the superstructure and replace along with new bearings, said the report. The internal report of the bridge department has also brought to notice that the initial deadline for reopening the reconstructed bridge was May 2020. But the civic body received a "No Objection Certificate" from traffic police only in February 2021 due to which the date of completion of the new bridge was pushed to March 2023.
The BMC has finalised the contractor for the reconstruction work of the railway portion of the bridge. P Velarasu, Additional Municipal Commissioner (projects) said, “The proposal is at the final stages of approval. A work order will be issued this week."
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