The 131-year-old Hancock Bridge, between Sandhurst Road and Byculla, popularly known as the S-Bridge, will soon be demolished and rebuilt. This popular road over-bridge (ROB), which is in the shape of an ‘S’, is being rebuilt as part of the 1,500-volt direct current to 25,000-volt alternating current conversion along the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and Kurla section.
Sources in CR said that the demolition would be carried out sometime in January, in the same way as the Masjid Bunder ROB that was demolished and replaced in August 2009 — in 48 hours.
The stone-bridge is around 5 metres from the tracks, and was rebuilt in 1923. It was meant for bullock carts and
horse carts. It was built on a curve of 90-degrees as it was difficult for these animals hitched to loaded carts to climb steep bridges and hence the S-shaped bridge was decided.
The new wider and higher cement concrete bridge will replace the existing one. The newly-constructed portion will include two steel, 50-metre spans on either side of the railway line. The cost of the new ROB would be around Rs 10 crore.“We have to raise the height of the bridge due to the conversion work. We will try to maintain its aesthetic and save the plaques and lamps on the bridge,” said a Central Railway official.
The structure includes long curved ramps on both sides of the railway tracks connecting the bridge to N M Joshi Marg in Byculla (West) and the Byculla zoo. CR officials hope it is possible to maintain the ramp portions and demolish only the bridge portion, making reconstruction faster.
Construction of ROBs at Curry Road, Carnac Bunder Bridge, Dadar Tilak Bridge and Parel will follow. “We have floated a tender and will soon decide on the contractor for this work. It is expected to begin in January,” S Mudgerikar, chief PRO, CR, said.