Two lanes of Hancock Bridge are likely to open on June 15. The British-era structure was demolished in 2016. It's located between the Sandhurst Road and Byculla. The bridge was initially built in 1879 and then underwent reconstruction in 1923 before it was again demolished in January 2016 for another reconstruction.
BMC’s chief engineer (bridges) S Thosar, said, "Construction work of the approach road for the two lanes is almost completed, we are planning to open both on 14 or 15 th June."
However local residents are not happy with the inauguration of only two lanes of one of the main eastwest connectivity of south Mumbai.
"BMC is demolishing a fully functional Hancock bridge which could have easily lasted for another 30 years and now BMC constructed half of the same when the population has drastically expanded. Starting one arm of Hancock Bridge will now float dead traffic and may emerge as an accident-prone zone," said Yusuf Shaikh of Mumbadevi Praja Foundation
Similarly, Kamlakar Shenoy, who has been campaigning for early completion of the Hancock Bridge for last so many years, said, " Opening of just two lanes of proposed four lane bridge raised the question on the functioning of BMC."
"Concerned authorities were aware that there was a need for road widening as per the sanctioned road line, besides that they failed to remove the obstructions," added Shenoy.
The first girder for the Hancock Bridge was launched in July 2020. In January 2021, it was opened for pedestrian movement only. After that in the first week of June 2021, work for launching the second girder was also completed.
Earlier, the construction work of the bridge was stalled for almost two years, as the contractor appointed by the BMC was blacklisted. Fresh tenders were then floated, and the contract was awarded in February 2018. The work was supposed to be completed within a year.