Planning a trip to Gujarat? After 4 days of repairs, Mumbai-Ahmedabad highway is now open
Motorists say crossing the bridge takes 35 minutes owing to traffic and the speed limitmumbai Updated: May 18, 2017 19:42 IST
Mumbaiites planning a road trip to Gujarat or New Delhi have reason to celebrate — the Versova bridge on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad National Highway was finally opened to traffic on Thursday, four days after it was shut, and eight months after repairs were initiated.
The bridge has a north-bound and south-bound stretch. The north-bound stretch was repaired and reopened with two dedicated lanes, one for light vehicles and another for heavy vehicles, said an official from the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI).
IRB, the firm that constructed the 49-metre bridge, spent Rs10 crore to repair it. The north-bound stretch of the bridge was closed for traffic on May 14. On May 17, the load-bearing capacity of the bridge and its cement structures were tested. Following this, the Thane district collector verbally ordered that the bridge be declared open from May 18.
“We are awaiting a written notification from the collector. We will submit a report to the state government soon,” said the official.
According to NHAI figures, around 50,000 vehicles use the bridge built over the Versova creek daily.
The bridge was closed for heavy traffic on September 15, 2016 after horizontal cracks developed on a girder. Since then, repair work has been going on at a snail’s pace, said sources. Acting on a public interest litigation filed by two activists from Vasai, the Bombay high court rapped the state government. Following this, repair work picked up pace.
Motorists had been using the two-lane south-bound part of the bridge. However, they complained that crossing the bridge took 35 minutes owing to traffic and the 20-kmph speed limit.