Mumbai: The BMC has to shelve its plans to commence the reconstruction of the Parel TT Bridge this month. However, concerns have arisen amongst traffic police over the potential exacerbation of congestion in the vicinity, as the Delisle Bridge in Lower Parel has not fully opened for vehicular traffic.
In light of this, the civic body has to wait until the completion of the Lower Parel Bridge and the Sewri-Worli Elevated Connector (SWEC), according to sources within the civic body.
Last repair work on the bridge
Before the monsoon, the BMC carried out an expansion of the joint portion of the Parel Bridge on Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Road, which is unsuitable for traffic. A height barrier was also installed above the bridge, to prevent entry of heavy vehicles. The repair and maintenance work on the flyover was carried out only during the night hours to avoid inconvenience to motorists in May. At the same time, the strengthening work of the bridge was to be undertaken in October. Accordingly, the BMC and the traffic police department recently had a joint meeting to discuss the closure of the bridge.
The estimated cost of the strengthening work of the 42-year-old bridge is around Rs17 crore. Its expansion joints are damaged and need immediate reconstruction. The 44 joints will be reduced to three after repairs that will smoothen the ride on the bridge.
The civic body is also going to construct a 60-metre-long solid ramp on the 300-metre-long bridge. Thus, a 60-meter road under the section can be thrown open for traffic, said the civic sources.
“Since the strengthening work will take more than six months, it will only create traffic chaos in the area, fears traffic police. They have informed us to carry out the necessary repair work without the closure of the bridge. The Delisle bridge is expected to be entirely open by November, easing traffic in the city area. We are expecting to get the permission for the work from the traffic police later,” said a senior civic official.
If the Parel bridge is closed down, the roads and routes adjacent will be further jammed, said Pravin Padwal, Joint Commissioner of Police, Traffic.
“These include the Tilak bridge in Dadar, as the Sion Rail over Bridge (RoB) has already been closed. There are no major routes to share the traffic burden. Hence, we have decided to keep off the heavy vehicles off the Parel bridge for now, meanwhile the repair work undertaken by the BMC can be carried out,” he said, adding that all the heavy vehicles will be diverted to RAK four-way road till the work of Parel TT bridge ends.
If the Delisle bridge, two-way, was open, Parel bridge could have been safely closed for traffic as the former would have taken up the diversion, but since that's not the case, closing down a heavy traffic connector like Parel TT bridge is not possible, Padwal further explained.
Given the condition of the Parel bridge, commuters feel it’s important for the BMC to prioritise the repair work.
“Monsoons really damaged the roads with huge potholes and uneven conditions at Parel bridge. These factors contribute to the movement of traffic, but they also ruin our back or physical health. The BMC should make good roads once and for all, instead of repairing it multiple times a year, leading to torturing motorists,” said Rajeev Mangal, a commuter.
According to local traffic police, if traffic flow is disrupted at Parel, the impact is larger up to Bhoiwada and Lalbaug areas.
“Dadar is like the heart of traffic, it connects to both western and eastern parts of the city, further to the south region as well. Hence it’s important to get rid of every obstruction near the Dadar and Parel bridges, in order to maintain smooth movement in all directions,” a traffic official said.
Strengthening work to take more than six months
Traffic police anticipate significant congestion issues in the area due to the extended duration
Closure of the Delisle bridge until November expected to ease traffic conditions in the city area
The Traffic Dept highlights potential traffic congestion issues on adjacent routes such as Tilak Bridge in Dadar, with the Sion Rail over Bridge (RoB) already closed
Heavy vehicles being diverted to the RAK four-way road until the completion of repair work on the Parel TT bridge
The closure of the Delisle bridge, necessary for effective traffic diversion, renders the closing of the Parel TT bridge unfeasible
Commuters emphasize the necessity for the BMC to prioritise comprehensive and sustainable road repair work, citing the adverse impact of the monsoon-induced potholes
Disruptions in traffic flow at Parel Bridge have a cascading effect, impacting areas as far as Bhoiwada and Lalbaug