Taking advantage of less traffic on the Pune-Mumbai Expressway due to the lockdown imposed to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, the 189-year-old British-era Amrutanjan Bridge, near Lonavala, was demolished on Sunday through a controlled explosion.
The Amrutanjan Bridge was demolished by the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) in order to make the traffic movement between Mumbai and Pune smoother.
The MSRDC had decided to demolish the structurally weak bridge last year. However, due to heavy traffic it wasn't possible.
“Apart from being structurally weak, the bridge is located at a horizontal curve, which hampers the vision of drivers and leads to accidents,” MSRDC chief engineer Dilip Ukirde had told Mirror.
The bridge, which was built by the British in 1830, was causing traffic snarls and also caused several accidents on the route. The bridge has not been in use since a long time, but its pillars were coming in the way of the vehicular movement.
"The entire Mumbai-Pune Expressway, which is around 100 kms, has six lanes. But the wide pillars of the Amrutanjan bridge had made some stretch near it a four-lane road," a senior MSRDC official said.
"The pillars had occupied the space of an entire lane on both the sides, which used to would slow down the traffic," the official added. "The bridge would have completed 190 years in November this year. But since it was causing a hindrance to the traffic on the expressway, it was demolished using explosives," he said.
(With PTI inputs)