The first phase of one of the biggest work of laying a 76 meter plus long steel bridge weighing 350 tonne got erected on Sunday at Mumbra. It was a colossal work as it took almost 22 hours for completing it; an important component for completing the last leg of Thane-Diva 5-6 lines; Mumbai’s one of the most delayed rail projects.
The second phase of launching this steel bridge is likely on March 21. This is the last major work for the Thane-Diva additional rail lines that's going on since 2008. The work started on Saturday night at 12 midnight for this huge bridge passing over the Mumbra Bypass. The Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) had assembled this huge steel bridge over the past few days and began its installation above National Highway 48 for which they had sought 24 hours block.
“It’s not easy pushing and installing a 76 meters long bridge weighing 350 tonne in such a short time. There is another girder of the same bridge that will also be pushed in synchronisation on March 21,” said an official from MRVC who was present at the site on Sunday evening. “It will take another 2 - 2.5 hours for the work to complete in which time we need to push another 4 meters joining the two ends”.
For the second leg, they will take the coming 12-14 days to transport and assemble at the site before taking up work on March 21. Free Press Journal was the first to report about this mega-block on February 13, in the article ‘Mega-mega block at Thane-Diva: Launch of girders giving authorities jitters’.
Prior to taking up this work, there was lot of planning and diversions planned as Mumbra Bypass is used by heavy containers, trailers going towards JNPT. The work is part of the Rs 550 crore Thane-Diva 5-6 lines that started in 2008 at an initial cost of Rs 180 crore. Of the 10 km stretch of these rail lines, work on 8 km is already complete.
Once the girders are launched, they will connect it with the remaining portion and complete these two lines mainly meant for segregating long distance with suburban local trains. It will pave the way for the introduction of additional local services on the main line. Thane-Diva is the CR’s busiest section in the suburban network. The 9.9 km-stretch between Thane and Diva has four existing lines on to which six lines (Diva-Kalyan and Thane-Kurla Lokmanya Tilak Terminus) converge, creating a bottleneck that obstructs and delays local suburban and outstation trains.