Vehicular traffic on the Mumbai-Goa Highway (NH-66), which was severly afftected till late in the morning following a bridge collapse near Mahad last night, is getting back to normalcy.
The state highway police control room said that baring the 80 kilometre stretch between Panvel and Indapur, no jam has been reported, though traffic is moving below it’s normal pace.
Inspector General (IG) of police, Konkan Range, Prashant Borude said traffic between Panvel and Indapur has been affected due to the on-going four-lane road construction. “Due to incessant rainfall, the roads are filled with potholes. This has slowed down traffic considerably,” Borude said. “Otherwise traffic on the rest of the stretch to Goa is flowing satisfactorily, “ he added.
Following the collapse of the old bridge at Mahad last night, only small vehicles were allowed to ply on the new bridge built parallel to the old one. Heavy vehicles and trailers were stopped alongside the road, causing the traffic to slow down. However, the new bridge was thrown open to heavy vehicles late in the morning, easing the flow of traffic.
“Traffic is flowing half an hour below it’s normal speed,”the highway police control room informed.
The traffic on the Mumbai-Goa Highway was blocked for a few hours on Wednesday morning after the bridge collapsed, assuming it would hamper the rescue operations.
However the new bridge which was inaugurated just a few years ago was opened to the vehicles after that.
“The new bridge was mainly used by vehicles coming to Mumbai from Goa and Ratnagiri side. Smaller vehicles going towards Goa were also allowed to use that bridge,”said one police officer.
“The traffic towards Goa was later diverted via the Mumbai-Pune Expressway. Those vehicles passed via Pune, Chiplun and Ratnagiri,” he said.
These issues caused traffic to go really slow till 12 noon. The police had to deploy officials at several places in the highway to manage the traffic. The situation became normal in the afternoon.
“Because of road widening work, motorists have been facing numerous issues on the Mumbai-Goa highway for the past several months now. The diversion and rains worsened the situation on Wednesday,” the officer said.